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Washington Nationals’ 4th of July lineup: Juan Soto or no Soto on the 4th?

Davey Martinez and the boys try to avoid getting swept in four straight by the Marlins...

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Juan Soto walked in two plate appearances in Sunday’s loss, and the Nationals’ 23-year-old outfielder got thrown out in a rundown between third base and home plate for the final out of Washington’s fourth. He didn’t come out to play right field in the top of the fifth inning, with Lane Thomas taking over. There was nothing obvious that happened for Soto, and no update from the club during the game.

After the extra inning affair, Davey Martinez told reporters Soto tweaked his left calf.

“He said his calf was tight, so we took him out, so we’ll reevaluate and see what’s going on.”

Martinez said he thought it happened on a line drive to right field Soto tracked to the fence, collected and quickly got back in.

“Yeah, I looked at it, he said it just felt tight. When he went up to hit, he said it was fine, and then all of a sudden he ran and came back and said it was tightening up on him.”

With the two walks, Soto has now reached base in 14-straight games.

His teammate, Josh Bell, told reporters after the game even the prospect of an injury for Soto frightens everyone. Soto did go for an MRI according to reports from D.C.

“Oh, yeah, it’s terrifying, obviously,” Bell said, as quoted in the NY Post.

“Fingers crossed that it’s not anything too, too time-consuming. We’ll see. I know he’s probably going to get the results back here soon. I know we’re all holding our breath for him. I guess time will tell.”

Speaking of Bell, he went 2 for 4 with a double (17) and go-ahead home run (12) in the 7-4 loss in extras. What’s he doing right at the plate right now?

“He’s honestly not trying to do a whole lot, he really is,” Martinez said. “He’s staying back, he’s seeing the ball well, getting the ball deep, and I’m really impressed this year of what he’s done with two strikes. He’s really cut down his chases and really is trying to put the ball in play, but when he gets a pitch to hit he’s taking a good swing at it, but he’s been working all year long to be where he’s at right now.”

Bell is in the lineup for this afternoon’s game. Soto is not.