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Taylor tearing it up from No. 8 slot

Has homered in three straight games, second on team in RBIs

WASHINGTON -- Bryce Harper isn't the only one on the Nationals who is hitting for power these days. Center fielder Michael Taylor has been productive as long as he is hitting eighth in the order.

Take Saturday's 6-1 victory over the Brewers: He went 2-for-3 with a key two-run home run in the second inning off right-hander Taylor Jungmann.

In the last five games, Taylor is 6-for-20 (.300), with three home runs (in his last three games) and six RBIs while hitting eighth.

Video: Taylor tears cover off the baseball in three straight

"Mentally, I'm trying to tone things down as little bit at the plate. Just trying to get more consistent making contact," Taylor said.

Taylor is second only to Harper on the club in RBIs with 55, and that stat hasn't been lost on Nationals manager Matt Williams.

"[Taylor] is comfortable [in the eighth spot]. He has been great for us in RBI situations this year. He will get opportunities down there in that regard," Williams said "Another good swing. It's telling. He hit the homer the other way -- to right-center field. It means he is on the baseball. He also had a base hit up the middle. Those are really good signs for him because if he stays on the ball, it's powerful."

With Denard Span on the disabled list, Taylor has received his share of time in the leadoff spot. He has been inconsistent, going 26-for-126 (.206) with 50 strikeouts. Williams downplayed Taylor's struggles in the top spot, but said Taylor is always looking for a good pitch to hit regardless where he hits.

"He has done some damage, too, at the top of the order," Williams said. "Against the Giants [facing Madison Bumgarner on July 4], he hit a home run on the first pitch. He had an opportunity in the leadoff spot and he has been pretty good, too."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats.
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