Turner, Taylor go for career highs in 18-3 rout

Trea Turner and Michael A. Taylor reached career highs in hits, and Joe Ross pitched seven solid innings as the Nationals crushed the Reds 18-3 before a sellout 40,139 at Nats Park.

taylor-blue-swing-walk-off-sidebar.jpgTurner went 5-for-5 with five singles, four runs, and a walk and two RBIs, setting a career high in hits. After some rough patches early in June, Turner has raised his average to .275.

"I feel better," Turner said. "I feel like it starting to come around. I feel more comfortable. Found some holes today. I felt like the last few games, I've been hitting the ball pretty good, lining out some. I guess that's a good sign and today they fell."

Taylor went 4-for-5 with two homers and a double with three RBIs, also setting a career high in hits. Taylor, who has been out with an undisclosed injury, said the few days of rest, with only a pinch-hit appearance on Friday night, have helped him feel refreshed.

"I needed it," Taylor said. "I was a little banged up, been diving, and running into walls a little bit. My body was a little banged up. The time off I think really helps."

Taylor was asked what injury he suffered that kept him out of action. The Nationals had not disclosed the injury that had kept him from starting a game since Tuesday. He wouldn't be specific, only to say he was "just banged up."

But he did say that the treatment he has received this week has helped him to get back on the field.

"I'm getting better," Taylor said. "Slowly getting better, I think. Just keep getting in the training room. I think we have a great staff here and they've helped me a lot in the past few days. Headed in the right direction."

The Nationals pounded out 19 hits in scoring in double figures for the 13th time this season. The 18 runs scored were the second most scored in a game this season by the Nats behind the 23-5 win over the Mets on April 30.

Ross came through with a quality start, tallying seven innings, allowing one run on six hits with one walk and five strikeouts. He threw 103 pitches, 74 for strikes. It marked the third time this season Ross had allowed only one earned run in a start; the last time was June 8 in a 6-1 win over the Orioles.

Coming into Saturday's matchup with the Reds, the Nats were averaging 10.2 runs per game when Ross toes the rubber. That number will go up after another impressive showing offensively.

Ross was asked if he thinks he should he pay his position players for all the runs they provide during his starts.

"Not at all, but I feel like I should be," Ross said. "They swung it great again today."

Manager Dusty Baker was thrilled to see Ross put together a solid outing.

"Joe threw a good game," Baker said. "He threw some outstanding changeups. A lot of times, I'll go to the plate to make pitching change or whatever and I'll ask the umpire how he's throwing and he said, 'He's throwing good, he's throwing very well.' That's a good sign for him and us."

The offense scored eight runs in the first two frames, four more runs in the fourth and eighth innings, plus single runs in the fifth and sixth. Here are some of the other highlights:

* Daniel Murphy laced a three-run double that highlighted a six-run second inning. He finished with four RBIs.

* Ryan Zimmerman had two hits, including a two-run double.

* Anthony Rendon and Brian Goodwin also connected on run-scoring doubles.

* Wieters with two hits and two RBIs.

The game went so well for Baker he was able to rest starters Bryce Harper, Zimmerman, Rendon and Murphy beginning in the sixth inning. They were replaced by Ryan Raburn, Adam Lind, Stephen Drew and Wilmer Difo.

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