Turner and Soto on fire, now the Nats try to get everyone else going

Trea Turner is beyond the zone. He's on a different level.

So is Juan Soto.

Now if only the Nationals could figure out how to get everyone else in the lineup to join them on the same night.

Turner went 4-for-5 with a homer and a run scored in Monday's 8-6 loss to the Phillies, extending his career-best hitting streak to 16 games. His average is a league-best .377 and his OPS is 1.077.

According to statistics compiled by Ryan Spaeder, Turner is hitting .515 over his last 72 plate appearances.

Soto-Starts-Trot-Blue-sidebar.jpgSoto crushed a pair of two-run shots, one in the fifth inning and one in the ninth. He has 11 homers on the season and is batting .367 with a 1.252 OPS. He finished the night 2-for-4 with four RBIs.

The pair combined for five RBIs, but the Nats still lost. Manager Davey Martinez continues to be very impressed with the top of his order.

"They are seeing the ball well," Martinez said during the postgame Zoom video call. "They are hitting ball well, both of those guys. You see Trea going opposite-field homer, working good at-bats. Juan, he's just a special kid. He puts good at-bats together. He's got power to all fields. Took a breaking ball in his last at-bat and hit it to straightaway center in the bullpen. That's pretty impressive."

Turner singled in the third and fifth innings, and then launched an opposite-field line drive solo shot, his seventh home run of the season, to cut the Phillies' lead to 6-4 in the seventh.

The first single was an infield grounder to the shortstop in the third, and his second hit a line drive to right field. The third single was another infield dribbler that got past the pitcher.

"Lucky," Turner said of this hot streak. "I hit a couple of balls tonight but I got lucky on a couple too. They are just falling in the right spots. We got plenty of guys hitting balls really hard right at people. Just lucky."

Soto did his work offensively too, smacking a two-run homer deep over the left field wall in the fifth, getting the Nats on the board and cutting the deficit to 6-2. The no-doubter was his 10th home run of the season. Then in the ninth with Turner on board, Soto blasted another two-run homer, this one over the center field wall to cut the Phillies' lead to 8-6.

He now has 10 homers at Citizens Bank Park in his career.

"He really doesn't try to do too much," Martinez said of Soto's swing. "He tries to stay in the middle of the field. Left field, left-center field, the ball carries out that way, so he just tried to stay in the middle of the field, and he sees the ball really well here. It's a good ballpark to hit in. He likes coming here. He likes hitting here."

Soto remembers a conversation he had with the Nats coaching staff the first time he set foot in Citizens Bank Park.

"For me, since the first day I get here I always say to my hitting coach 'This feels big,'" Soto said. "And he told me that I would say that it's not that big. I don't know, I just feel comfortable hitting here. I feel good at the plate. I just try to make a good swing at the ball, try to look for a good pitch, and they hang it, we bang it."

It's pretty obvious with Turner and Soto connecting so well why Martinez likes these two hitters at the top of the order.

"They are both feeding off each other right now," Martinez said. "Trea's getting good pitches to hit because Juan's behind him. When Trea gets on, Soto is getting pitched to. That's how it works. That's kind of why I wanted Juan to hit second. We need him to get pitched to, and so far it's been working out."

Michael A. Taylor also hit a solo homer, his third of the season, in the seventh. Adam Eaton went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles. The Nats offense was able to put up six runs on the night, but it turned out the early six-run deficit was too much to overcome.

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