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Nationals' lineup for second of three with the Pirates in D.C.: Tanner Roark's turn

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Washington Nationals' skipper Dusty Baker talked before last night's game about resetting the rotation coming out of the break. Tanner Roark takes on the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight in the nation's capital. Here's the Nats' lineup...

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Dusty Baker talked before last night's second-half opener about the decision to switch things up in the Washington Nationals' rotation coming out of the All-Star Break.

Stephen Strasburg got the nod in the series opener with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Nationals lined Tanner Roark and Max Scherzer up for the second and third games of the three-game set.

"Mike [Maddux] decided to do it, really," Baker explained.

"Stras was the strongest. Probably Scherzer was the least rested. So we decided to give him some extra days.

"Tanner, we had to keep him kind of semi-online. And then we’ve got Gio [Gonzalez]. And then we have to decide if we go back to [Lucas] Giolito, or if [Joe] Ross is going to be ready. And we’ll line it up that way."

Ross, who landed on the DL with right shoulder inflammation is still a question mark, as Baker told reporters.

"I think Ross is going to toss tomorrow. He tossed some yesterday. He’s getting better. He said he threw probably about 80% velocity. He’s got a few changes to make and a few more things to do."

With the All-Star Break and a day off on Monday the Nationals can wait before making a decision.

"We’ll see," Baker said. "We’ve got to make a couple decisions here. Because if we’ve got a guy in, might you have to make a roster move? And then who do you take off the roster. Right now, with the convenience of the off-day, we’ll just wait."

Tonight it's Tanner Roark's turn. He returns to the rotation after making a relief appearances in the first-half finale last Sunday in New York.

Roark, 29, finished the first half (8-5) with a 3.01 ERA, 3.26 FIP, 35 walks (2.70 BB/9), 101 Ks (7.79 K/9) and a .245/.313/.326 line against in 114 ⅓ IP as a starter.

Here's the lineup that will back Roark up tonight in the nation's capital: