The Washington Times - April 3, 2012, 01:55PM

Good afternoon from Nationals Park, where we’re a couple of hours away from the Nationals’ exhibition finale against the Red Sox. We have cherry blossoms past the left field stands, only wisps of clouds and the designated hitter.

Yes, that’s right. The designated hitter in a National League park.


Designated hitter aside, the Nationals’ lineup looks much like what you’d expect for Thursday’s season-opener in Chicago.

The last significant question is who earns the final spot in the bullpen, open since closer Drew Storen will start the season on the 15-day disabled list. Manager Davey Johnson will wait on the decision until after today’s game.

Johnson also repeated what he’s said in recent days, that Roger Bernadina will “probably” be the Opening Day starter in center field.

Onto the lineups:

Boston Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
Ryan Sweeney, RF
Cody Ross, LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Mike Aviles, SS

Clay Buchholz, SP

Washington Nationals
Ian Desmond, SS
Danny Espinosa, 2B
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
Adam LaRoche, 1B
Jayson Werth, RF
Mark DeRosa, LF
Xavier Nady, DH
Wilson Ramos, C
Roger Bernadina, CF

Edwin Jackson, SP