WASHINGTON -- Michael Taylor's work in the batting cage the day prior convinced manager Dusty Baker that he was healthy enough to play Saturday, although Baker worried that perhaps Taylor had worked more than he would have liked.Those worries were squashed by Taylor on Saturday afternoon, as career performances from
WASHINGTON -- Michael Taylor's work in the batting cage the day prior convinced manager Dusty Baker that he was healthy enough to play Saturday, although Baker worried that perhaps Taylor had worked more than he would have liked.
Those worries were squashed by Taylor on Saturday afternoon, as career performances from both he and Trea Turner helped lead the Nationals to an 18-3 drubbing of the Reds. Taylor matched a career high with four hits, including a pair of home runs, while Turner reached base in each of his six plate appearances, collecting a career-best five hits and adding a walk.
Taylor had been out of the starting lineup since Wednesday, although the Nationals refused to disclose his injury. Baker insisted it was minor, and the outfielder was feeling well enough to make a pinch-hit appearance in the 10th inning on Friday night before participating in a full slate of pregame activities Saturday. Taylor also declined to say what was bothering him, other than the fact that he was "banged up" and the few days off spent with the training staff had him feeling a little better.
"I needed it," Taylor said. "Been diving and running into walls a little bit. My body's a little banged up. The time off, it really helps."
It helped him continue to be one of the Nationals' hottest hitters recently, with five multi-hit games in his past 10, during which he is hitting .378 with four homers.
Turner set new career highs by collecting five singles and reaching base safely six times while tying a career-best in runs scored with four. It's the seventh time in Nationals history a player has reached base safely six times in a game.
"As he goes we go," Baker said. "And a lot of things happen when Trea gets on base."
Turner added: "I feel like it's starting to come around. I feel more comfortable and found some holes today. I felt like the last few games I've been hitting the ball pretty good, lining out some so that's a good sign. Today they fell."
Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.