CINCINNATI -- Nationals manager Dave Martinez made a pair of changes in the lineup prior to Saturday's 13-7 victory against the Reds at Great American Ball Park, because he wanted to keep his reserves "engaged" early in the season. So he started Matt Adams at first base and Brian Goodwin
CINCINNATI -- Nationals manager Dave Martinez made a pair of changes in the lineup prior to Saturday's 13-7 victory against the Reds at Great American Ball Park, because he wanted to keep his reserves "engaged" early in the season. So he started Matt Adams at first base and Brian Goodwin in center field in place of Ryan Zimmerman and Michael A. Taylor, respectively. Both moves paid off in a big way.
Adams crushed a three-run homer in the first inning off right-hander Luis Castillo, and Goodwin rocked his first career grand slam in the ninth inning against Kevin Quackenbush.
"They did the job," Martinez said. "They're part of this team. We have to keep them engaged and get them in there as much as we possibly can. They get it. Their teammates get it. It was nice to see them contribute today, and they were jacked up."
Grand slams mean 40% off pizza
Adams gave the Nats an early 3-0 lead by launching his first home run with Washington, which traveled 460 feet to right-center field for the longest home run Adams has hit since Statcast™ began tracking in 2015. It's the longest homer measured this season, and it was also the third longest home run hit at Great American Ball Park (Franklin Gutierrez hit a 473 foot homer on May 21, 2016).
"Felt good," Adams said. "I think any hit would have felt good, but that one felt good. Just trying to go out there and take advantage of those starts."
Goodwin put a capper on the Nationals afternoon in the ninth inning, by unloading the bases with his home run. After a strong rookie season, Goodwin said this moment ranked near the top of the best moments in his young career.
When the Nationals hired Martinez, they raved about his ability to communicate with players, and it's one of the traits he emphasizes most often. Keeping Goodwin and Adams informed in advance about starting Saturday's game and getting them into the lineup so early in the season paid off.
"I appreciate it a lot, him being so up front about it," Goodwin said. "He's been that way since Spring Training, so I got to say it's definitely a good thing to know and know in advance. I just want to play. He has faith in us that we can play out there, and he gets us opportunities when he sees fit. That's about all you can ask for."
Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.