Your cleanup hitters tonight: Matt Diaz and Wilson Ramos

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The Pirates and Nationals have released their lineups for Monday’s much-anticipated matchup in Washington, and those fortunate enough to be there will have the pleasure of seeing Matt Diaz and Wilson Ramos cleaning up for their teams.

It should be an epic showdown.  One-quarter of the way through the season, Diaz is hitting .239/.260/.310 with no homers and five RBI in 71 at-bats.  Like a true No. 4 hitter, though, he always makes an effort to bring in those baserunners: he’s walked just one time all year.

In the grand tradition of Mike Piazza and Buster Posey, Ramos is one of the very few rookie catchers to serve as a cleanup man.  He’s outslugged Diaz with a .267/.333/.419 line, and he has two homers and seven RBI in his 86 at-bats this season.  Of course, he is off to a 4-for-33 start this month, but that probably just means he’s due.

So forget about the Yankees-Rays and Phillies-Cardinals.  Watch the titans face off in D.C. tonight.  You won’t regret it.

White Sox slugger Jiménez sidelined with bruised foot

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
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CHICAGO — Chicago White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez has a sprained right foot, likely sidelining the slugger for a pivotal season-ending series against the crosstown Cubs.

The White Sox had dropped a season-high five in a row heading into the weekend set, falling out of first place in the AL Central. They are hoping to get back on track heading into their playoff appearance since 2008, but the health of Jimenez is a concern.

Jimenez, who is batting .296 with 14 homers and 41 RBIs, was injured sliding across home in the seventh inning of Chicago’s 5-4 loss at Cleveland on Thursday. Manager Rick Renteria said the 23-year-old left fielder will need “to be off his feet” for a few days.

“There’s inflammation in there and they want to calm it down” Renteria said. “We’ll know more in a few days.”

The White Sox trailed the first-place Twins by a game heading into the series with the Cubs. They are just one ahead of the third-place Indians. The AL postseason begins on Tuesday.