WASHINGTON -- Of all the Nationals stars, Mark Reynolds was one of the least likely to become the 15th player in MLB history to record at least 10 RBIs. So when Reynolds walked around the Nationals clubhouse in navy blue compression pants after Washington's 18-4 win over the Marlins on
WASHINGTON -- Of all the Nationals stars, Mark Reynolds was one of the least likely to become the 15th player in MLB history to record at least 10 RBIs. So when Reynolds walked around the Nationals clubhouse in navy blue compression pants after Washington's 18-4 win over the Marlins on Saturday night, his teammates agreed his seemingly immaterial clothing choice must have been good luck.
"It's the pants," Pedro Severino joked at the locker next to Reynolds'.
Reynolds was a free agent to begin the season until the Nationals signed him April 12. The 12-year veteran had recorded just 14 RBIs all season entering Saturday.
But Reynolds broke out by going 5-for-5 with two home runs, tying Anthony Rendon's Nationals RBI record and serving as the catalyst the Nationals offense has needed over the past month with Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy struggling.
"These things don't happen often," Reynolds said. "I've been playing a long time and I've only had five [RBIs in a game]. You got a little luck involved. Sometimes you just take good swings the night before and you feel confident going into the next day, and that's what happened."
On Thursday night, Trea Turner notched eight RBIs in the Nationals' comeback win over the Marlins, when he also recorded two home runs, including a grand slam. Turner and Reynolds are the first teammates to record eight or more RBIs in a game in the same week, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Washington, which still sits five games back of the Braves in the National League East, is also the first team since 2012 to have two players record eight or more RBIs in a season. The Rangers were the last team to do so (Nelson Cruz and Josh Hamilton).
The Reds' Scooter Gennett was the last player to record 10 RBIs, during his four-home run game on June 6, 2017, against the Cardinals. Rendon accomplished the feat against the Mets on April 30, 2017.
Reynolds hit a walk-off home run Friday night, and he belted a home run to a similar location in his first at-bat Saturday. The 34-year-old knocked an RBI double in the fourth inning and a two-run single in the Nationals' seven-run fifth. After Reynolds' two-run homer in the sixth inning, many of the fans at Nationals Park still stood, cheered and raised their caps toward the dugout even after Reynolds had handed out high fives to all his teammates, which Reynolds said was his first curtain call since 2007.
In the seventh inning, supporters gave Reynolds a standing ovation when he walked to the plate for his final at-bat. Reynolds, who's hitting 12-for-23 over his past nine games, responded with a two-run single for his ninth and 10th RBIs, powering an offense Nationals manager Dave Martinez believes will only improve when Ryan Zimmerman and Matt Wieters return from the disabled list.
"We've had guys up and down here who helped us win a lot of ballgames," Martinez said, "and to this point, we're here because of those guys."
Entering Saturday, the Nationals had scored a combined seven runs over Max Scherzer's previous five starts, four of which were losses. In addition to Reynolds' contributions, Harper went 3-for-3 with a walk and Severino homered to support Scherzer, who allowed four runs, three on homers by Starlin Castro, J.T. Realmuto and Yadiel Rivera.
"If there's ever a time to make some mistakes, [it's] when you get 18 runs and the offense is blasting everyone," Scherzer said, "so I still got a smile on my face."
Reynolds has been sharing first base duties with Matt Adams and Murphy, so Martinez said he'll have trouble sleeping tonight finding where to place Reynolds in the lineup Sunday.
"I'm gonna sleep just fine," Reynolds said. "That's his problem. I'll be ready to go either way."
Adam Eaton was the last Nationals player to go 5-for-5, on March 31. The Cardinals' Matt Carpenter was the most recent Major League player to go 5-for-5 with two home runs, on June 26.
HE SAID IT
"Well, it might keep me on the team for a couple more weeks," -- Reynolds, joking about his performance Saturday
The Nationals will try to sweep their four-game series against the Marlins at 1:35 p.m. ET Sunday at Nationals Park. Tanner Roark, who allowed nine runs over seven innings in a loss to the Red Sox on Tuesday, will start for the Nationals and counter Miami right-hander Trevor Richards. The Nationals haven't won with Roark on the mound since June 6, but the right-hander has allowed two or fewer earned runs in six of his past seven starts against the Marlins.
Kyle Melnick is a reporter for MLB.com.