WASHINGTON -- How did the Nationals respond following their marathon 14-inning loss to the Brewers from the previous night? By matching a club record with eight home runs against the Brewers on Sunday afternoon at Nationals Park, an offensive onslaught that carried Washington to a 16-8 victory in the series finale.
Eight homers from the Nats ties a team record for most dingers in a game, which they set on July 27, 2017, also against Milwaukee.
“The long game yesterday, coming back and jumping on top of them early, that shows you what kind of team this really is,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “They’re relentless. They come out, they’re ready to play. I told them early, I said, ‘Hey let’s jump on them early, score first and get on them right away,’ and they did that.”
Six Nationals players homered on Sunday, including Juan Soto and Brian Dozier hitting two apiece. Matt Adams, Victor Robles, Adam Eaton and Anthony Rendon all joined in as Washington’s offense poured it on for the rout.
The win marked the sixth victory in the last seven games for the Nationals, whose offense has found itself in a groove lately with the weather heating up in D.C. and more than a few hitters rolling. Washington has scored at least seven runs in five of those seven games and double-digit runs in three of their past four games. This is the first time in Nationals history (2005-present) that they have scored at least 14 runs in back-to-back games.
“This team battles,” Robles said through team translator Octavio Martinez. “That’s all you can say is we battle. We don’t have to worry about what happened yesterday, yesterday is yesterday. We worry about today, don’t worry about whether you're tired or not. We went out on the attack and just battled.”
And the Nationals’ offense was on the mark from the start of the game. They scored four runs in the first, twice in the second and then seven in the third to put the game out of the reach of the Brewers, who left the bases loaded in the top of the first. By the fifth, Washington had already hammered seven homers. Per STATS, the only team in MLB history to hit more homers in the first five innings was also the Nationals, who did so against Milwaukee during that July afternoon in 2017.
Home runs are up across baseball, and the ball is flying over the fence at a record pace, but the Nationals have a lineup capable of keeping up with the best offenses in baseball. They launched back-to-back homers twice on Sunday, marking the 10th time this season they have done so, the third most in the National League behind Atlanta and Los Angeles (14 each).
Trea Turner reached base for a career-high 25th straight game. Eaton is hitting .425 in his past 10 games. Rendon has been one of the best hitters in baseball all year. Soto clubbed his second multihomer game of the year to increase his career-high total to 28. Robles is in the middle of a seven-game hitting streak, during which he is batting .500 (13-for-26). Dozier drove in a season-high four runs.
“We’ve been swinging the bats well for awhile now,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “We’re getting good pitches to hit, we’re taking our walks. We’re just hitting the ball really well.”