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WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 29: Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Washington Nationals swings in the third inning during a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Nationals Park on June 29, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

The Red Sox key deadline acquisition will finally make his debut for the team Friday night against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. Manager Alex Cora told reporters before the game that Kyle Schwarber will bat sixth and be the team’s designated hitter.

Schwarber was acquired by the Red Sox back on July 29, in exchange for prospect Aldo Ramirez. At the time, Schwarber was on the IL due to a hamstring strain. While working his way back after the trade, he suffered another setback earlier this week.

Before getting hurt, Schwarber hit .253 in 72 games for the Washington Nationals, with 25 home runs and 53 RBIs. That performance was enough to earn him his first career All-Star nod, although he missed the game due to injury. He hasn’t played in a Major League game since July 2. Schwarber was scheduled to make a rehab start in Worcester on Thursday, but the game was postponed due to rain.

In order to make room for Schwarber on the roster, the team designated utility player Marwin Gonzalez for assignment. Despite being one of the team’s most hyped offseason signings, Gonzalez was hitting just .202 through 77 games this season. The 32-year-old had just returned from a stint on the IL.

In addition to adding Schwarber, the Red Sox will get Alex Verdugo back in the lineup, batting second and playing left field. Verdugo had missed the previous four games while on paternity leave. To open up a roster spot for him, the team optioned starting pitcher Tanner Houck to Worcester, but he is expected to be recalled in time to make his next scheduled start on Tuesday.

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.