Red Sox Vs. Nationals Lineups: Tanner Houck Gets Ball; Alex Verdugo Returns

A win Saturday guarantees the Sox will extend their season

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October 2, 2021

The Boston Red Sox control their own playoff destiny, and they are tasking their rookie hurler with keeping that alive.

Tanner Houck will get the ball Saturday afternoon against the Washington Nationals as the Red Sox play the penultimate game of the regular season. The Red Sox sit one game back of the New York Yankees for the top wild card spot, and one game ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners for the second spot.

In short, two wins and the Red Sox are in the Wild Card Game. If they win Saturday, they at least guarantee they will have a Game 163 in the event they lose Sunday.

As for the lineups, there is just one personnel swap, and that’s Bobby Dalbec going to the bench against righty Josiah Gray. As a result, Alex Verdugo will start in left field and bat sixth, while Kyle Schwarber moves to first. Hunter Renfroe will hit seventh instead of sixth.

First pitch is set for 4:05 p.m. ET on NESN, with pregame coverage beginning at 3.

Here are the full lineups for Saturday’s Red Sox-Nationals game:

RED SOX (90-70)
Kiké Hernández, 2B
Kyle Schwarber, LF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Rafael Devers, 3B
J.D. Martinez, RF
Alex Verdugo, LF
Hunter Renfroe, CF
Christian Vázquez, C
Tanner Houck, P

Tanner Houck, RHP (1-5, 3.80 ERA)

NATIONALS (65-95)
Lane Thomas, CF
Alcides Escobar, SS
Juan Soto, RF
Josh Bell, 1B
Keibert Ruiz, C
Andrew Stevenson, LF
Jordy Mercer, 2B
Carter Kieboom, 3b
Josiah Gray, P

Josiah Gray, RHP (2-2, 5.85 ERA)

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