March 27, 2015

Washington Nationals Spring Training: Gio solid, bullpen not in loss to Mets

The New York Mets got one run in the sixth, two in the seventh, four more in the eighth and tacked one on in the ninth to turn a tight game into a laugher, beating the Washington Nationals 8-3 at windy Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Florida.

Gio Gonzalez started, and while the lefty walked three — including back-to-back free passes in the third — he didn’t allow a run and gave up just two hits, one an infield variety that he fielded and made a late throw. He struck out five in five innings of work.

That was the good. The rest? Not so much.

Tanner Roark, Jerry Blevins and Craig Stammen — all relievers the team will rely upon heavily this season — were knocked around by a collection of mostly Mets backups.

Roark gave up two runs on two hits  in one inning of work, striking out two without a walk. Blevins surrendered consecutive homers to Matt Reynolds and Juan Lagares in the seventh. Stammen was touched for four runs on three hits — including a homer by Matt den Dekker — and a walk in 2/3 of an inning.

After two straight rough outings, Stammen’s spring ERA is 8.68.

The Nats picked up all their runs in the sixth inning. Michael Taylor doubled home Kila Kaiaihue, who walked,  and then scored on Clint Robinson’s double. Derrick Robinson pinch-ran for Clint and scored on Ryan Zimmerman’s RBI single. Wilson Ramos followed with a single, but Ian Desmond struck out to end the rally.


  • Spring Training numbers to be taken with a grain of salt: Roark’s ERA hit 9.00 and Blevins’ sits at 8.59 after today’s runs.
  • Yunel Escobar led off and played second. He went 1 for 3 in his third game of the spring.
  • Desmond choked down a throw, bouncing it to first. When Zimmerman couldn’t make the backhanded scoop, Desmond was charged with his second error of the spring. He double-clutched a ball on the transfer in the next inning, but got a force at second.
  • Tyler Moore, who can’t afford to take any play for granted in his battle for a roster spot, flat-out dropped a fly ball in left field in the first inning.
  • Bryce Harper did not play for the second straight day with a stomach virus.


Washington Nationals Spring Training: Nats pound Verlander, tie Tigers

The Washington Nationals pounded Detroit Tigers starter Justin Verlander for three home runs — two from Michael Taylor — but the Tigers got to the Nats bullpen and the game ended in a 7-7 tie at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida.

Taylor, one of the Nats top prospects and pegged to play center field while Denard Span recovers from abdominal surgery, homered in the third and fifth innings off Verlander. He finished the day 2 for 4 and is hitting .324 this spring. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Spring Training Preview: The Outfielders

This week, District Sports Page will review the players currently on the Washington Nationals 40-man roster and their potential contributions to the Major League roster this season.

Monday: Catchers
Tuesday: Infielders
Wednesday: Outfielders
Thursday: Starters
Friday: Bullpen [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 117 Review: Fister strong, Taylor homers in debut as Nats pound Mets


The Washington Nationals needed a game like this.

After a disappointing weekend series with the Atlanta Braves, the Nats broke out in a big way against the New York Mets, slugging four home runs — including three in one inning — and Doug Fister tossed seven shutout innings as the Nats dumped the Mets 7-1 at Citifield in Queens.

The win, coupled with the Braves loss to the Dodgers, gives the Nats a five-game lead in the N.L. East.

One of the three homers hit in the sixth inning came from Michael Taylor, making his first start in the Major Leagues. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 115 Review: Nats top Braves in 11 after nearly 4 hour rain delay

It took a while to get this one started — and finished — but for the Washington Nationals, it was well worth the wait.

A steady rain delayed the start back to after many folks’ bedtimes on the east coast, then extra innings delayed the outcome that much further. But a three-run outburst in the 11th inning lifted the Nats to a 4-1 win over the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field.

The Nats extend their division lead back to 4 1/2 games.

Anthony Rendon led off the 11th with a single off Braves reliever David Carpenter and went to second on Adam LaRoche’s ground ball single to right. Carpenter got Ian Desmond to line out to left, though Justin Upton took a bad route and had to make a circus catch on the hard liner.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez lifted Carpenter in favor of James Russell, but Russell walked Bryce Harper on five pitches. Gonzalez went back to his pen, this time for Anthony Varvaro, who gave up a pair of runs in Friday night’s game.

Wilson Ramos greeted Varvaro with a soft liner to center for an RBI single. Kevin Frandsen followed with a double to the right field corner that scored LaRoche and Harper. The Braves muffed the relay to the infield, and Ramos tried to score. He was originally called safe as Even Gattis made a very high tag on the slide, but after review Ramos was ruled out.

Regardless, the Nats had their three-run lead.

All that was left was for Rafael Soriano to pitch the bottom of the inning, and he did so uneventfully for his 26th save of the season.

Previously to the 11th inning, all the scoring in this one came back in the sixth. LaRoche hit a solo homer off Braves starter Aaron Harang, his 16th of the season, then in the bottom the Braves evened it up as they loaded the bases with no outs against Nats starter Tanner Roark, then a sacrifice fly by Jason Heyward tied the game.

Roark wiggled out of the inning allowing just the one run as he struck out Gattis and got a comebacker from Chris Johnson to end the frame.

Roark had another terrific outing, allowing just the one run on six hits and three walks over seven innings, striking out six.

NATS NOTES: CSNWashington’s Mark Zuckerman reported before the game the Nats plan to recall OF Michael Taylor from AAA Syracuse before Sunday’s game. Taylor has had a breakout season in the minors. No corresponding move was announced, though Jayson Werth and Steven Souza Jr. both played Saturday in the late innings.

  • Denard Span continued his hot hitting, going 2-for-5. His average is up to .305 for the year.
  • Harper went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
  • The Nats were 2-for-7 with RISP and left seven on base.
  • Desmond went 0-for-5, but did steal a base.
  • LaRoche went 3-for-5 with a homer, two runs and an RBI.

Nationals Prospects Spotlight: Will Taylor leapfrog Goodwin as “centerfielder of the future”?

The Washington Nationals have long been searching for their perfect center fielder. In the beginning, we saw Brad Wilkerson and a litany of fleet-footed, but contact-challenged, little guys (think Nook Logan, Brandon Watson, Endy Chavez and the rest) come and go. We were told Lastings Milledge was the answer, until we found out he couldn’t see the ball from center until it got above the top of the stadium.

For the past two seasons, Denard Span has been tracking everything down in center, but his questionable on-base skills and ineptitude against left-handed pitching have left much to be desired.

While Span has helmed the spot, the Nats have been, somewhat quietly, bringing up two candidates in the minor leagues that could challenge for that spot in the not-too-distant future. The team has a $9 million option for next season with Span and while it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Nats exercise that option, it would also not be surprising to see Span challenged and eventually bumped out of the spot before that option year was up.

Let’s look at the candidates:

Brian Goodwin: Goodwin was the Nats third pick in the first round of the 2011 MLB amateur draft. The 34th overall pick out of Miami-Dade College, Goodwin, 6’0″, 200 lbs., was a five-tool athlete many envisioned at the top of an MLB batting order. Goodwin possesses an elite eye and exercises terrific plate discipline. He’s a rare minor league hitter that controls his at bats, instead of letting the pitcher dictate.  He has very good speed and good pop, and plays a mean centerfield with great range and a good throwing arm.

The knock on Goodwin thus far in his minor league career is making consistent contact. He owns a .255/.367/.409 slash line in 276 minor league games, but this season at AAA Syracuse, at age 23, he’s hit just .208/.359/.287, with just 10 extra base hits in 223 plate appearances. His elite eye has allowed him to walk 41 times in those appearances and he’s cut down on his K%, but the lack of contact and power this season is disconcerting. Despite his speed, he’s run just six times this year and converted on all but one attempt.

Goodwin has a history of starting slowly once promoted, only to turn it around in the second half, so that will bear watching as this season develops.

Michael Taylor: Taylor was a sixth round pick in the 2009 draft from Westminster Academy in Ft. Lauderdale. He was drafted as a shortstop but was very quickly moved to the outfield after his first season in rookie ball. Taylor was always more of a project than a natural baseball player. Taylor was a gifted multi-sport athlete in high school and the Nats worked hard with him in the low minors to transition him to the outfield. Through that hard work, he’s become one of the top defenders in all of the minor leagues.

The question with Taylor has always been the bat. In three minor league seasons, Taylor never OBP’d higher than .318 until last season for Potomac, when he hit .263/.340/.426 with 10 homers and 87 RBIs. He also had a spectacular year on the basepaths, stealing on 51 of 58 attempts. This season, the 6’3″, 215 lbs. 23-year-old has really put it together at AA Harrisburg. Through 52 games, he’s hitting .325/.405/.629 and leads the Eastern League with 15 home runs and 41 RBIs, while going 14-for-16 on stolen base attempts.

Taylor has never come close to matching this type of success in professional baseball, so we’ll have to monitor him in the summer months to see if he wilts.

It’s not hard to compare the seasons both players are having and wonder if Goodwin is stalling while Taylor is starting to blossom. Goodwin has the pedigree with his first round status and rankings on “top prospects” lists. But Taylor is slowly coming into his own. If he really has “figured it out” at the plate, with his elite defensive skills he could really push Goodwin on the prospect depth chart and challenge for a spot in D.C. before the more celebrated Goodwin.

Washington Nationals’ Minor League and Prospect Report for Week Ending May 4th

Syracuse Chiefs, AAA International League, 14-15 

Brandon Laird: Laird has bounced between the minors and majors over the past few seasons, but is currently manning third base for the Chiefs. In the last week of basball, he has picked up eight hits, including a 3-for-4 game last Thursday. On the season, he’s hitting a slugging percentage of .567 with an OPS of 1.024.

Brock Peterson: Peterson played well in Spring Training and he’s translating that success to the regular season in Syracuse. He’s picked up a hit in seven of the team’s last 10 games to go along with three RBI.

Taylor Hill: Hill currently sits at 4-1 with a 1.82 ERA for the Chiefs and his most recent outing this past Sunday was a gem. He pitched a complete-game shutout and gave up just three hits and one walk. Hill has been steady on the mound while also picking up his fair share of strikeouts with 34.

Harrisburg Senators, AA Eastern League, 8-19

Michael Taylor: A center fielder, Taylor has been getting stronger and stronger with his bat as the season goes on. He’s picked up a hit in eight of his last 10 games including three doubles, four homers and 12 RBI. Most notably, he went 3-for-4 with three home runs on April 27th.

Cutter Dykstra: After a hot start to the season, Dykstra is currently on a is currently on a four-game hitless streak. Prior to that, the third baseman had a hit in his previous six games. He’s proven to be a solid minor leaguer in years past, and he could break out of this minor slump in a big way.

Justin Bloxom: The Nationals have several talented first baseman in their farm system and Bloxom is certainly one of them. In his second full season at double-A, Bloxom is on a six-game hitting streak and has a hit in eight of his last ten games. On the season, he’s batting .318 with eight doubles.

Potomac Nationals, High-Class A Carolina League, 16-10

Randolph Oduber: Since he was moved to Potomac from Hagerstown early in the season, Oduber has done well for the PNats. He has a .244 average, but is playing strong as of late. In his last 10 games, in eight of them. In five of those eight games, he’s picked up at least two hits. In an 11-run rout on Sunday, Oduber went 3-for-4 with a double and a walk.

Oscar Tejeda: Tejeda has picked up a hit in seven of his last ten games, highlighted by grand slam in the eighth inning on Sunday. On the season, he’s hit five doubles, four homers and 16 RBI.

Gilberto Mendez: In eight appearances out of the bullpen this season, Mendez has been a steady pitcher. Averaging just over an inning of work per outing, he’s given up just eight hits, three of which came in one uncharacteristically bad appearance. On Sunday, he was the only Potomac pitcher not to give up a base runner as he pitched two no-hit innings.

Hagerstown Suns, Low-Class A South Atlantic League, 21-7

Isaac Ballou: The Suns are a team stocked with young talent and Ballou certainly belongs in this group. The outfielder has a hit in nine of his last 10 games including four doubles. He’s batting .299 with an on-base percentage of .387. On top of that, he’s stolen five bags.

John Wooten: Like Ballou, Wooten has also collected a hit in nine of his last 10 games. The right fielder has hit five doubles, a homer and six RBI in that same stretch. This is his third season in the system and he’s make quite a buzz.

Wander Suero: Out of the bullpen, Suero has been a solid pitcher for the Suns. In 27.1 innings spanning six outings, the right-hander has given up just six earned runs while fanning 19 batters. His 1.98 ERA is the best on the team.

Washington Nationals 2014 Top 25 Prospects: No. 7 Michael Taylor

In this series, District Sports Page has provide detailed scouting reports on our list of Top 25 Washington Nationals prospects. You can find our overview with the entire list here. We will now move into even further detailed reports for our Top 10.

Here’s our scouting reports on prospects Nos. 21-15, prospects Nos. 16-20 and Nos. 11-16.

And so far in the Top 10:

No. 10 Eury Perez
No. 9 Jake Johansen
No. 8 Sammy Solis

Now without further ado, here is prospect No. 7, outfielder Michael Taylor.

7. Michael Taylor
Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Height: 6′ 4″, Weight: 205 lb.
Born: March 26, 1991 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US (Age 22)
Draft: Sixth Round, 2009

Hitting Ability Raw Power Power Frequency Plate Discipline Speed Baserunning Fielding Range Arm Strength Arm Accuracy Overall Future Potential
35/50 50/55 40/50 40/45 65/65 50/60 55/65 65/65 70/70 40/50 MLB Starter

Taylor has been one of the Nationals’ more successful development projects over the past few years. The club drafted him in the sixth round of 2009 Draft, and inked him to a low-profile $125k bonus to pass on his commitment to The University of North Florida, a solid but relatively unheralded baseball program coached by Dusty Rhodes. Taylor hit .447 with seven homers during his senior season playing shortstop in one of the most stacked high school circuits in the nation, competing against top prospects like Deven Marrero (now with the Red Sox) and Dane Williams.

The multi-sport athlete was largely overlooked, but the Nationals believed they had something in him. After he was drafted, Taylor struggled to perform in pro debut.  He made an ice-cold debut in the Gulf Coast League and finished the season floundering at Low-A Hagerstown. At shortstop, he made thirteen errors in 19 games, and didn’t display the aptitude for third or second base. His work at the plate was rough as well. He posted an ugly .199/.276/.298 triple-slash line through 43 games, with more strikeouts (33) than hits (28).

Taylor is an outstanding athlete, but the Nationals saw a player that needed a lot of coaching and polish before he could be all that he could be. They moved him to the outfield, and instructors Tony Tarasco (now the organization’s minor league coordinator) and Marlon Anderson set out to put his game together. With extra work in the offseason, Taylor took to the outfield like a natural, and since that point, he has evolved into one the minors elite defensive players. At the plate, he cleaned up his poor swing that was marked by an abnormally wide set-up and a wild and powerless upper-body cut. He’s still working to find mechanical consistency, but his cut is now much cleaner and it employs his powerful core to generate bat speed. Last season, he started taking his plus speed into games more often, displaying improved base-stealing instincts and smart decisions on the basepaths.

Taylor enjoyed a breakout season in 2011, when he hit .253/.310/.432 with the Hagerstown Suns as a 20-year-old. His numbers stalled a little bit in the Carolina League in 2012, but his defense earned him recognition from Nationals coaches as a player to watch in the organization. Last season his bat’s development got back on track, and is starting to catch up to his glove. He hit .263/.340/.426 with the Potomac Nationals, posting the best walk rate of his career and managing his strikeouts. He swiped 51 bases in 58 tries, tying him for second in the league behind teammate Billy Burns. His 2013 stolen base total was more than he’d totaled in his previous three pro seasons combined.

At the plate, Taylor has a long way to go before he’s an average hitter, but the athleticism and tools are there. He’s lanky with long levers, and he whips the bat with strong hands. Now that he’s shortened his set-up and is doing a better job of managing his stride and keeping his weight on his back foot until he releases his hands, he’s hitting the ball with authority more often. He still could stand to do a better job of using his legs and core muscles in his swing as he tends to cast his hands. His sprays a lot of hard line drives, and doesn’t get consistent back spin or loft yet. Once he does though, he could unlock his home run potential and hit 20+ annually in the big leagues.

Taylor has some hitting skills, primarily his quick hands and his feel for the barrel. His pitch selection and discipline took a step forward last season. which will help him improve his average and power numbers, and he’s walking up to the plate with more of a plan lately. He’s still relatively raw for his age, however. His cut tends to get out of control when he gets his pitch, wasting a lot of energy and causing him to get out in front often. And while he’s fast enough to put the barrel on nearly any fastball, he’s prone to right-handed breaking pitches.

Taylor is a plus runner out of the box and under way, and he showed the quick first step and improved reads to become an asset as a base-stealer in the MLB, maybe a guy that can swipe 30 bags annually in his prime, and leg out plenty of doubles and triples.

Taylor’s defense is his calling card and he’s one of the best defensive center fielders in the minors — and arguably the best at his level. You don’t see his inexperience at all when he plays, and he reads line drives and spin off of the bat, adjusting his routes nicely. His long-limbed stride hives him the classic gliding appearance when he moves to the ball. He covers plus range into either gap and his apparent agility and body awareness should help him play wall in the MLB. He also tracks drives over his shoulder well, and makes wide receiver grabs. To top it all off, he has a strong, accurate arm.

Taylor’s defense and baserunning would already provide excellent value to an MLB ballclub, and his bat has promise despite so-so numbers at the plate over the past couple of years. He has some work to do on his swing and needs to develop a much better feel for hitting before he can be considered an everyday player. But if he develops into the solid all-around hitter he has the ingredients to be — a .270/.340/.420 type guy with 20-30 stolen bases — his other skills would make him All-Star caliber. Of course, the hit tool is the most important tool and the vast majority of young prospects end up falling short because they don’t pan out in this category. If the bat doesn’t get there, Taylor does still have the defensive chops and baserunning value to be a Dewayne Wise-type fourth outfielder.

Washington Nationals Top 25 Prospects Overview

For the Washington Nationals, the flip-side of  a decade-long losing streak is their extraordinarily talented, affordable roster. Their poor records came at the perfect time, just as baseball scouting was expanding and implementing new analytics methods to assess performance, and the big league draft was still unfettered by a hard-slotting system. As a result, their savvy front office accumulated a bevy of high draft picks and used them to rake in a gluttonous share of the baseball’s best athletes.

The Nationals were able to heist the franchise talents of Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, Lucas Giolito, Anthony Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman, along with a bounty of other blue-chip prospects. The injection of young, affordable star-power led them to put together the franchise’s best stretch over the past three years, and they managed to snap a 31-year playoff drought in 2012.

Despite a step back in Major League production in 2013, the Nationals are still looking stronger than ever heading into the 2014 season. Healthy and more polished versions of Strasburg and Harper lead a stacked 25-man roster that is looking almost unbeatable following the addition of Doug Fister and the maturation of Anthony Rendon.

The franchise’s farm system isn’t what it was a couple of years ago. Naturally, promoting so many stud prospects to the Major Leagues and competing with homegrown talent comes with a price. Over the past few seasons, the club’s farm system has graduated starting pitchers Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Ross Detwiler, Taylor Jordan and Tanner Roark, gifted relievers like Storen,  Stammen and Ian Krol (now with the Tigers), as well as a long list of position players that includes Harper, Zimmerman, Rendon, Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa, Wilson Ramos and Derek Norris (with the Athletics). Two thirds of their projected opening day roster is comprised of homegrown players, or former prospects that spent their final seasons in the Nationals farm system.

Additionally, the cost of winning has dropped the club’s annual draft slot to the back of the line, and has forced the front office to play for the short term. They’ve traded away blue-chip prospects like Alex Meyer, Derek Norris and Robert Ray for short-run contributions, and have also parted ways with sure-fire contributors like Nate Karns, Tommy Milone, David Freitas and Steve Lombardozzi.

So, the Nationals don’t have the prospect starpower they normally do. A couple of years ago, they had the best system in the minors. Now, though they’re still strong, they’ve faded to the middle of the pack.

The Nationals savvy amateur scouting, particularly out West, has helped Mike Rizzo maintain a competitive farm system in spite of the organizations determination to put a winning roster on the field annually.

The farm system lacks balance. It doesn’t have a stand-out prospect at the upper levels at the moment, and the losses of Nate Karns, Alex Meyer and Robbie Ray have depleted a lot of their pitching depth.  Their lack of left-handedness was also exacerbated by the Doug Fister trade, which sent the extremely underrated Robbie Ray to Detroit along with Ian Krol–who’s poised to be an elite-level left-handed setup man. To get a southpaw in the bullpen finally — a void that killed their bullpen effectiveness last year as opposing managers were able to stack their lineups with lefty sluggers — the front office had to deal Billy Burns to Oakland for Jerry Blevins. While Burns isn’t a star, the little speedster looks like a superb fourth outfielder and pinch runner.

On the bright side, the lower levels of the system do sport many of the game’s most gifted athletes. 2013 first-round pick Lucas Giolito, now recovered from Tommy John surgery, is an elite-level arm when healthy, and has the stuff, intangibles and command to be an ace in a few years. Brian Goodwin, Harrisburg’s center fielder in 2013, has gotten stuck in double-A over the past two years after rising quickly through single-A ball. Though Goodwin’s five-tool profile pretty much makes him a sure bet to be a valuable player in the MLB.

The Nats didn’t have a first-round pick last June, but still made the most of their resources by grabbing a pair of high-ceiling stars from cowboy country. Former Dallas Baptist right-hander Jake Johansen largely flew under the radar in college, but his mid 90’s fastball and NFL tight end frame bless him with intriguing upside. And farmboy Drew Ward, taken in the third round last year, profiles as a left-handed version of Nolan Arenado.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll post detailed scouting reports on the players that made District Sports Page’s list of Top 25 Prospects in the Nationals organization. Below, though, are the names of the Nats’ top prospects to watch this season.

Top 25 Prospects

1. Lucas Giolito, RHP

13. Blake Treinen, RHP

2. Brian Goodwin, OF

14. Austin Voth, RHP

Robert Ray, LHP

15. Jefry Rodriguez, RHP

3. AJ Cole, RHP

16. Tony Renda, 2B

Nate Karns, RHP

17. Felipe Rivero, LHP

4. Drew Ward, 3B

18. Christian Garcia, RHP

5. Steven Souza, OF

19. Sandy Leon, C

6. Zach Walters, SS

20. Drew Vettleson, OF

7. Michael Taylor, OF

Adrian Nieto, C, 

8. Sammy Solis, LHP

21. Cody Gunter, 3B

9. Jake Johansen, RHP

22. Nick Pivetta, RHP

10. Eury Perez, OF

23. Rafael Bautista, OF

11. Matt Skole, 3B

24. Brett Mooneyham, LHP

12. Matt Purke, LHP

25. Pedro Severino, C

Billy Burns, OF 

Honorable Mention: Dixon Anderson, Aaron Barrett, Cutter Dykstra, Randy Encarnacion, David Napoli, Travis Ott, Raudy Read, Danny Rosenbaum, Hector Silvestre, Maximo Valerio


Ryan Kelley is a Contributor to District Sports Page. He’s a web application developer by day and an aspiring sports journalist living in the D.C. area. He has lived in Washington since graduating from The George Washington University and has past experience working within Minor League Baseball and for Team USA. He is founder of, and specializes in scouting prospects playing in leagues on the East Coast and in the Mid-Atlantic region. A life-long ballplayer himself, he enjoys hitting home runs with his writing and scouting reports. You can follow him on Twitter @BBNewsHound and @Ryan_S_Kelley.

Washington Nationals Spring Training: Nats drop Mets 5-4 in Grapefruit League opener

Taylor Jordan looked good in his two innings of work as the Washington Nationals dropped the New York Mets 5-4, scoring the winning run in the top of the ninth, in Friday’s Grapefruit League opener.

Jordan, in a battle for the fifth spot in the Nats opening day rotation, threw 21 pitches, 16 for strikes, to seven batters in two innings. He gave up one hit and struck out two. He got one groundout and two flyouts in the outing.

A.J. Cole, one of the Nats’ top prospects, followed and struck out two in his two innings of scoreless work, though he did give up three hits in the process.

The Nats got on the board in the fourth inning, when Wilson Ramos doubled in Ian Desmond, who reached on a fielder’s choice and stole second base to get into scoring position.

In the bottom of the inning, the Mets put four up on Christian Garcia. Cesar Puello doubled down the left field line to drive in Juan Lagares and Kirk Nieuwenhuis, then Ike Davis clubbed a homer to right to clear the bases.

The Nats put up two in the seventh. Zach Walters scored on a Koyie Hill double, and Hill came home on a single by Steven Souza.

The Nats added a run in the eighth, as Walters doubled home Matt Skole.

In the ninth, Jeff Kobernus reached and Michael Taylor tripled to bring in the winning run.

The Nationals host the Atlanta Braves Saturday at 1:00 pm at Space Coast Stadium.


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