The Red Sox are coming, the Red Sox are coming

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There aren’t a whole lot of nights at Nationals Park where there’s a legitimate buzz in the air. So the next three will provide a rare scene for local baseball fans. The Boston Red Sox are in town for the first time since 1971, which means there will be plenty of fans rooting for the visitors.

A near-sellout is expected, though a handful of seats are still available. The question is: How will the crowd be split for tonight’s game, and for the rest of this series?

The Nationals went to great lengths to try to avoid selling tickets to members of Red Sox Nation. For a long time, tickets to this series were available only to season-ticket holders. Then they started selling these games as part of a mini-package. Only recently has the average fan been able to hop online and buy tickets.

That said, I would expect a healthy showing of Red Sox fans tonight. Maybe not quite 50-50, but pretty close. It’ll be interesting to see how that works out. Either way, it’ll be nice to see some life inside the park tonight, as opposed to the way it usually is.

Here are tonight’s lineups…

NATIONALS

SS Cristian Guzman

1B Nick Johnson

3B Ryan Zimmerman

LF Adam Dunn

RF Josh Willingham

C Josh Bard

CF Willie Harris

2B Anderson Hernandez

P John Lannan

RED SOX

2B Dustin Pedroia

RF J.D. Drew

1B Kevin Youkilis

LF Jason Bay

3B Mike Lowell

C Jason Varitek

CF Jacoby Ellsbury

SS Nick Green

P Brad Penny

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Mark Zuckerman

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