MIAMI -- Local product Michael A. Taylor gave the Marlins headaches in the Nationals' 9-5 series-opening victory on Friday night at Marlins Park.Taylor, from nearby Fort Lauderdale, went 2-for-4 with two runs, a homer and two RBIs and made a nice defensive play in center field. He had about a
MIAMI -- Local product Michael A. Taylor gave the Marlins headaches in the Nationals' 9-5 series-opening victory on Friday night at Marlins Park.
Taylor, from nearby Fort Lauderdale, went 2-for-4 with two runs, a homer and two RBIs and made a nice defensive play in center field. He had about a dozen family and friends at the ballpark.
"It's nice. They're always watching, but it's nice when you can look up and see them in the stands," Taylor said. "They come out and support me, and I really appreciate it."
Taylor hit his fourth homer of the season off Marlins right-hander Jose Urena in the second inning to give the Nationals an early 2-0 lead. The center fielder then ran a long way to make a nice catch at the wall in the third. He also ignited the decisive three-run inning with a hustle double to lead off the seventh.
Taylor's 388-foot home run, as projected by Statcast™, had an exit velocity of 103.3 mph and a 31-degree launch angle.
In the third inning, Taylor raced to the right-center-field wall and reached up to take away a possible extra-base hit from his counterpart, Marlins center fielder Lewis Brinson. Taylor's grab robbed Brinson, whose long drive had a hit probability of 88 percent. Brinson's blast traveled 392 feet in spacious Marlins Park, with an exit velocity of 106.2 mph and a launch angle of 32 degrees.
"I felt like I had a bead on it," Taylor said. "I wasn't sure how well it was carrying out there. It was a little challenging with the ceiling. I sort of lost it for a second, but felt pretty good going back on it."
With the score tied at 4, Taylor opened the seventh with a line drive to left-center field and beat the throw to second for a double. He scored the go-ahead run on an infield single by Trea Turner before Bryce Harper delivered a two-run double for a 7-4 lead.
Matt Adams broke a tie in the sixth inning with a two-run homer, his 12th of the season and ninth this month. Adams' blast went a projected 421 feet, just clearing the 407-foot sign in center field, with an exit velocity of 105.5 mph and a 22-degree launch angle.
It scored Anthony Rendon, who went 3-for-4 with a double and an intentional walk, to give Washington a 4-2 lead.
Nationals starter Max Scherzer didn't have his best stuff, but it was good enough to earn a Major League-leading eighth victory and extend his win streak to seven games.
Friday marked the first time Scherzer had given up three-plus earned runs in a start since Sept. 13, 2017. His seven hits and four earned runs allowed were both season highs.
"I could tell that they were trying to take away some things that I do," Scherzer said. "That's what happens when you face divisional opponents. They've seen you before, they know what to take away. That's where I tip my hat."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
With the potential tying runs on base and two outs in the seventh, Brandon Kintzler -- the fourth Nats reliever in the inning -- put down a Marlins threat. Kintzler struck out Brinson to end the frame and preserve a 7-5 lead and a win for Scherzer.
"Our bullpen did a great job," Scherzer said. "Five different guys came in [total]. They all had different roles, different responsibilities, and they all pitched well. That just shows you the capabilities of this team. Everybody has a piece to this puzzle, and together we can win ballgames."
Rendon has reached base safely in 14 of his last 15 games since returning from the disabled list on May 5.
HE SAID IT
"All hands on deck. We had to keep the game where it was at and get a win out of it. The bullpen did great." -- Nationals manager Dave Martinez, complimenting a bullpen that held the lead and allowed just one run over three innings
The Nationals look to continue their trend against Marlins starter Wei-Yin Chen, who is 1-5 all time against Washington, in a 4:10 p.m. ET Saturday start. Mark Reynolds has had the most success against him, going 3-for-7 with two home runs and four RBIs. Right-hander Tanner Roark, 5-8 lifetime against Miami, takes the mound for Washington.
Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com based in Miami.