WASHINGTON -- The Nationals' top-ranked offense flexed its muscles during Saturday afternoon's 18-3 rout over the Reds, showing off the depth and relentlessness of their lineup. Michael Taylor matched a career high with four hits and a pair of homers, Trea Turner reached base in all six of his plate appearances
WASHINGTON -- The Nationals' top-ranked offense flexed its muscles during Saturday afternoon's 18-3 rout over the Reds, showing off the depth and relentlessness of their lineup. Michael Taylor matched a career high with four hits and a pair of homers, Trea Turner reached base in all six of his plate appearances -- going 5-for-5 with a walk -- and Daniel Murphy drove in four runs.
Each Nationals starting position player had at least a hit and five Nats recorded multi-hit games as they hammered out 19 hits and scored double-digit runs for the 13th time this year. The 18 runs are the second most the Nats have scored this season behind their 23-run outburst on April 30 against the Mets. The large offensive output allowed right-hander Joe Ross to cruise through seven innings of one-run ball.
"It's good to see our offense going, up and down the lineup," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "You like to see everybody a part of it."
"I think that's our lineup though," Turner said. "Everybody has produced all year for the most part. I think when someone's down another guy picks him up and gets a hit. Then, when everybody's doing well, you get a day like today. It's not a fun lineup to face for other teams and that's how we want it to be."
Washington's outburst started at the expense of Reds starter Homer Bailey, who was pulverized for eight runs and recorded just five outs in his 2017 debut. This was Cincinnati's fourth consecutive loss and 13th in their last 14 games.
"There are not a lot of soft places to fall with this bunch," Reds manager Bryan Price said of the Nationals' offense.
"When you've got guys that can hurt you down in the bottom of the order … that speaks pretty well of your lineup. What makes a good team a good team is they don't miss the pitches they should hit."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Forgettable '17 debut for Bailey: Bailey's first start of the year after undergoing elbow surgery in February was largely a disaster. The Nationals jumped on him from the start, with a two-run double by Ryan Zimmerman in the first, and even further during a six-run second inning.
Murphy delivered a crushing blow in the second by lining a bases-clearing double down the right-field line, followed by an RBI double from Anthony Rendon. That served as the knockout blow for Bailey, whose debut lasted 1 2/3 innings, as he surrendered eight runs on six hits with three walks and two strikeouts.
"With a lineup like that and you're not sharp, they're going to make you have a long day regardless of who you are or what kind of stuff you're featuring," Bailey said. "I have no excuses. I just didn't pitch well today. That's all I can say." More >
Ross cruises with big lead: Ross is no stranger to run support considering he entered the game averaging 10.15 runs per game, which would lead the Majors if he had enough innings to qualify. That number increased with Washington's onslaught Saturday.
"I'm sure he doesn't mind," Taylor said with a laugh.
• Nationals host kids clinic at Nationals Park
Ross settled in quickly with the early advantage and tossed seven innings, yielding only a solo homer to Patrick Kivlehan in the sixth. It's the kind of steady performance the Nats will welcome from Ross, in what has been an inconsistent season for the righty.
"The last thing you want to do is relax a little bit, let your guard down, because then next thing you know it could be 8-5, 8-6, and you're out the game before you even get into the fifth inning," Ross said about pitching with a large lead. "So staying focused, trying to pitch your game no matter what the score is. Obviously, the big lead helps, but definitely got to keep your guard up."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Reds allowed 18 runs for the first time since an 18-9 loss to the Dodgers on Aug. 22, 2016.
• Finnegan set to come off DL to start Monday
With the Nationals leading 14-3 in the eighth inning and Kivlehan on second base, Devin Mesoraco was called out at first base to end the top of the frame after Turner fielded his grounder up the middle. However, the Reds challenged the play and the umpires took just 31 seconds to overturn the call, granting Mesoraco a single.
Reds: The Reds' lone win since June 8 came with Scott Feldman on the mound, and he'll start against the Nationals at 1:35 p.m. ET on Sunday at Nationals Park. The right-hander allowed two runs in six innings in the Reds' 7-3 victory over the Rays on Monday. He's 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in two career starts against the Nationals, but he last faced them in 2014.
Nationals:Tanner Roark will take the mound for Sunday's series finale against the Reds at 1:35 p.m. ET at Nationals Park. He is in the midst of a disastrous June, with an 8.02 ERA in four starts this month.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.
Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.
Kyle Melnick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington, and covered the Reds on Saturday.