Turner records third career five-hit game

August 30th, 2020

achieved a feat only three other players in franchise history have reached, recording his third career five-hit game on Saturday night in the Nationals’ 5-3 loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Turner joined Hall of Famer Andre Dawson, Mark Grudzielanek and Yunel Escobar among those in Expos and Nats uniforms to achieve the feat.

By going 5-for-5 against Boston, Turner extended his hitting streak to 14 games and improved his batting average to .350 in his sixth season.

“I felt like I got pitches to hit, and I didn’t miss them,” Turner said. “That’s what it comes down to, really.”

Turner succinctly summed up his recent approach, which is baffling opponents. Whether it was a ground-rule double in the first inning off a 92.2 mph sinker from right-hander Chris Mazza or a line-drive single in the eighth off a 95.7 mph fastball from Ryan Brasier, Turner has been keeping opponents on their toes by attacking a variety of pitches.

"We certainly couldn’t get him out tonight," said Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke. "He’s a tough out at the plate. You make a good pitch, and he fouls it. You make another good pitch, and he fouls it again. And as soon as you make a mistake, he rips it. So, I’m impressed.”

Of his five hits, three were to left field (including both doubles). His others were singles to right and center field.

“The thing that stands out to me is, he’s using the whole field,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “He’s getting his hits everywhere, and that’s good. When he does that and he stays behind the ball, he’s got unbelievable hands so he’s able to hit the ball hard. You saw again tonight -- he’s just going out there, he’s being patient but aggressive at the same time.”

The shortstop is the first visiting player to record five hits in a game in Boston since Carlos Pérez and C.J. Cron did it on July 2, 2016, with the Angels. What’s the key to becoming the first to reach that mark in four seasons at one of the most historic ballparks in baseball?

“No fans, that’s probably why,” Turner said with a laugh. “This is my first [series] playing here, but I could imagine the fans would be all over you, which makes it fun and special in its own sense. … You can see all the history, the park is unique. You’ve got a big wall you can hit off of, you’ve got a lot of room out in right field -- you can hit the ball that way as well. It feels fun to play here, and I enjoy it.”

As Turner’s hitting streak continues, so does his growth off the field. Martinez has noticed a continued maturity of the 27-year-old from season to season.

“I’ve seen him grow since I’ve been here tenfold,” Martinez said. “He understands what he needs to do, and he plays the game the right way -- he really does. He’s a student of the game, but yet he’s starting to teach the game to our younger players, and I really, really like that about him.”