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Taylor goes 3-for-3 with homer, swipes 2 bags

MLB.com @JamalCollier

LOS ANGELES -- The Nationals are starting to see some progress at the plate from center fielder Michael A. Taylor after his slow start to the season.

Taylor went 3-for-3 with a walk during Sunday night's 4-3 loss against the Dodgers. He hit a solo home run, stole a pair of bases and almost single-handedly created a run after doubling in the sixth, finishing a triple shy of the cycle.

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LOS ANGELES -- The Nationals are starting to see some progress at the plate from center fielder Michael A. Taylor after his slow start to the season.

Taylor went 3-for-3 with a walk during Sunday night's 4-3 loss against the Dodgers. He hit a solo home run, stole a pair of bases and almost single-handedly created a run after doubling in the sixth, finishing a triple shy of the cycle.

View Full Game Coverage

It was by far Taylor's best game in what had been a difficult start to the season. He entered Sunday batting .192/.244/.247 in 21 games. But he has heated up in his last eight games, going 9-for-26 with a 1.049 OPS. It's a welcome sight for a Washington club that lost another big bat when third baseman Anthony Rendon landed on the disabled list Sunday.

"I felt good at the plate today," Taylor said. "Felt like I was a little more relaxed. Felt pretty good in my approach for most of the season, just at times I was jumpy. I feel like I've been able to slow things down a little better as of late."

Taylor's night began with a single and a stolen basein the second inning. Then he began the fourth with a home run off left-hander Alex Wood, his first long ball of the season.

In the sixth, Taylor hammered a one-out double into the left-field corner. The threat of his speed forced a pickoff throw, which sailed into center field and allowed him to reach third. That set the stage for Taylor to score on a sacrifice fly to shallow center field from Moises Sierra, giving the Nationals a 3-0 lead.

Video: WSH@LAD: Sierra drives in Taylor with a sac fly

Washington would eventually relinquish the lead, but Taylor put himself in scoring position again in the eighth inning after drawing a two-out walk and swiping second base. A replay review confirmed the call, making Taylor 8-for-8 on stolen-base attempts.

"Just trusting, going out there and playing the game and not worrying about results," Taylor said. "Working my breathing a little bit, just anything I can do to just relax."

Video: WSH@LAD: Taylor steals second, call confirmed

Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Washington Nationals, Michael A. Taylor