Red Sox will activate Whitlock, all hands on deck for Game 162

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Oct. 3—If the Red Sox win Sunday they will clinch a spot in the AL Wild Card Game, and manager Alex Cora said the team will have all hands on deck available to help make sure that happens.

During his pregame press conference, Cora announced that rookie reliever Garrett Whitlock (right pectoral strain) will be activated prior to Sunday's regular season finale against the Washington Nationals. He also confirmed that fellow reliever Ryan Brasier, who has pitched in each of the last four days, would be available out of the bullpen if needed.

To make room for Whitlock on the active roster, the Red Sox optioned reliever Eduard Bazardo to Triple-A Worcester.

Starters Eduardo Rodriguez and Nick Pivetta will also be in the bullpen, and the only pitcher who won't be available is Nathan Eovaldi, who is slated to start either the AL Wild Card Game or the tiebreaking Game 163 early this week.

Chris Sale (5-1, 2.90 ERA) will get the start for the Red Sox. He will face off against Nationals rookie Joan Adon, who is making his major league debut. Adon spent most of this season in High Single-A before earning a call-up to Double-A in late August and then Triple-A last week. He faced the Worcester Red Sox in his only Triple-A start on Sept. 24, pitching four shutout innings with seven strikeouts in a 4-1 Worcester win.

First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 p.m., and by dinnertime the Red Sox should finally have clarity on what their future holds. A win and they're in, and a loss opens up a litany of possible outcomes, including multiple two, three and even four-way ties that might require multiple tiebreaker games to sort out.

"It's a special day," Cora said. We know what's at stake."

Red Sox lineup

* Hernández, 2B

* Schwarber, 1B

* Bogaerts, SS

* Devers, 3B

* Martinez, RF

* Verdugo, LF

* Renfroe, CF

* Vazquez, C

* Sale, P

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