Center fielder Michael Taylor announced his presence with a three home run game Sunday for Double-A Harrisburg against Bowie.
He went 3-for-4 with three home runs and four RBIs, becoming the first Nationals organizational player to his three homers in one game since Danny Espinosa.
Taylor is batting .250 with four doubles, five home runs and 18 RBIs in 22 games. He has struck out 39 times, but has walked 11 times and stolen five bases.
He is hitting .351 at home and .170 on the road. Taylor is hitting .478 (11-for-23) with runners in scoring position.
Assistant general manager and vice president player development Doug Harris said Taylor is making strides as the season gets rolling.
“He is going in the right direction physically with his approach,” Harris said. “We are seeing him make good contact on a consistent basis.”
* Senators first baseman Matt Skole was in a little bit of a funk to start the season, but broke out Monday with three hits for Harrisburg. Skole had a double down the left field line and hit the ball very hard twice to the pull side.
“It was a significant step for Skole,” Harris said. “He is in the best position he has been in this season so far. He was really active in his approach. He has something he needed to make adjustments on and he did.
“He is best when he drives the ball to left center. He is in a really good position and it is exciting to see.”
This is Skole’s first full season back since his Tommy John surgery in April of 2013.
* Harrisburg right-fielder Kevin Keyes had a couple of exciting plays as he got in to a groove in his first week at the Double-A level. Keyes had three hits and is batting .353.
Keyes had a stand up triple after the outfielder failed to find his hard hit ball for a few seconds. Later, Keyes made a sliding catch where he ended up in the infield.
Harris joked they were going to move him to center field because of his new found range.
* Harrisburg is at Reading Friday night. That is the expected destination for Nats’ starter Doug Fister’s second rehab start. Fister completed 65 pitches in his first rehab start for Potomac Sunday. He is likely to go five innings Friday and 75 pitches, then rejoin the team in Philadelphia, which is just 63 miles from Reading.
* Triple-A Syracuse dropped Indianapolis in a thrilling 6-5, 10-inning victory on the road. Brock Peterson had an RBI single and shortstop Emmanuel Burris ended the game with a double play.
The Chiefs are now 11-13. Catcher Jhonatan Solano hit a solo home run over the left field wall in the second inning, which tied the game 1-1. It was Solano’s third home run in 16 games. He had three home runs in 2012 and 2013 combined.
“He has swung the bat really well. He is using the entire field, gap to gap, doing a nice job,” Harris said.
* Single-A Potomac’s game with Lynchburg was suspended in second inning due to inclement weather. It is expected to be picked up today and then followed by a seven-inning game, but it looks as if the weather will sweep that doubleheader again.
Stephen Perez is hitting .338 through 20 games, although he does have six errors. He has six doubles, one homer, 9 RBIs and five stolen bases.
Brandon Miller is the team leader with six home runs.