'Happy flight': Trea sparks surge in Nats' bats

April 29th, 2021

The flights back to Washington, D.C., are more fun after a win, noted. The Nationals made sure their plane ride from Dunedin, Fla., on Wednesday night would be upbeat.

After a spurt of lopsided wins and losses, the Nats broke out with an offensive barrage in their highest-scoring game of the season, an 8-2 win over the Blue Jays at TD Ballpark.

“That’s kind of what we always say is, happy flight,” said. “You want to travel in a good mood; you don’t want to be mad about a loss. Obviously, we would love to win before we get on a plane and share that time together. I think that’s when you can build camaraderie and come together as a team.”

It's that teamwork that improved the Nationals to 9-12 on the season. Shorthanded throughout the year -- and currently without sidelined slugger Juan Soto -- the Nats entered the night averaging 3.6 runs per game, including five shutouts.

But they put their stamp on the evening early on, when Turner connected on a leadoff single to begin his 4-for-5 night at the plate, which included a double in the sixth. With 12 career performances of four or more hits, he moved into a tie for fifth-most four-plus-hit games in team history.

“Trea is Trea,” manager Dave Martinez said. “When he really sits back and tries to just drive the ball in the middle of the field, he can do some damage.”

Sparked by Turner's consistency, the Nationals were powered by homers from and Bell -- who snapped his hitless skid with authority.

“You hear the music in the background,” Bell said. “The overall atmosphere in the clubhouse is awesome. I know we’re kind of hanging right now in regards to guys on the IL, but we’re fighting through and we’re going to push out wins.”

The Nationals provided more than enough run support for to improve to 2-2 on the season. He threw 98 pitches and fanned seven while allowing one run off two hits and three walks in six innings, his longest start of 2021.

“It’s about getting some consistency,” Martinez said. “Today, we put it all together. We got good pitching, we hit the ball well. Hopefully we’re trending in that direction that we can do that often.”

After going 2-3 on a road trip against the Mets and Blue Jays, the Nationals will open a six-game homestand on Friday vs. the Marlins and Braves.

“Any time you can win going home is great,” Turner said. “Hopefully we can continue this into the Miami series and keep playing good baseball.”