Soto gets mad after getting hit on shin, takes it out on baseball

BALTIMORE - The Nationals’ power bats were on display again in an 8-1 win over the Orioles at Camden Yards, thanks to Matt Adams and Juan Soto.

Adams’ blast got the scoring going for the Nats in the second inning off Orioles starter Asher Wojciechowski. The solo shot gave the Nats the 1-0 lead and landed on Eutaw Street. It was the 102nd all-time homer to reach Eutaw Street, the 57th by an Orioles opponent.

“Yeah, it was a good one,” Adams said. “I knew I got it. But I didn’t know the history behind that street out there, so that’s very, very cool.”

Adam Dunn (2009) and Roger Bernadina (2013) were the only other Nats to hit homers that touched down on Eutaw Street. The 396-foot shot was Adams’ 14th home run of the year.

“I saw that,” Adams said when told his homer would get a plaque on the ground. “It’s very neat to be cemented in history, especially in a ballpark like this.”

Soto-Bat-Flip-Trot-Gray-Sidebar.jpgSoto launched a no-doubter in the top of the sixth off Wojciechowski. The 443-foot home run came after Soto had ricocheted a pitch off his shin and needed a couple of minutes to let the pain subside before returning to the batter’s box. It was Soto’s 17th homer of the season.

Soto said getting hit on his shin only made him more determined to hit the ball out of the park.

“For me, I just get mad,” Soto said. “When I hit it, I was like, ‘You hit me.’ It wasn’t me. It was the pitcher. I just get mad and I tried to hit the ball as hard as I can. And after that, I come through.”

Soto did admit that his foot was still sore after the game: “Still hurt. I am going to see the trainer (for) therapy.”

Manager Davey Martinez and Nationals director of athletic training Paul Lessard checked on Soto after getting hit on his shin. As Soto was recovering, Martinez gave him some hitting advice. The skipper told Soto to keep his hands inside the ball.

“Yeah, he hit it off the top of his shin and it got him pretty good,” Martinez said. “He came back, and actually I told him, ‘You got to keep your hands inside the baseball (or) you’ll roll over and do it again (and) it’s going to really hurt.’ I’ve done it, and sure enough, he goes out stays inside the ball and hits the ball a long way.

“He told me that,” Soto said. “I just tried to be locked in and he was talking to me and telling me a couple things like, ‘Take your time and be more inside the ball.’ And I was like, ‘I am going to get this guy. I’m mad.’ “

The Nationals tacked on six runs in the final four innings. Soto and Adams added RBI singles in the ninth.

Anthony Rendon had a pair of RBI doubles. Adam Eaton, Soto, Adams and Brian Dozier each had a pair of hits.

A big part of the Nats’ resurgence, winning 31 of their last 43 games, has been the power they have demonstrated with the longball. Even Rendon’s run-scoring hits were doubles up against the wall.

“You look up and down the lineup everybody’s got power,” Adams said. “Even our pitchers, watching them come out and hit batting practice, they even put them in the seats. It’s just part of the game. We’re barreling the ball up and they’re going.”

The Nats are now 24-11 this season when they hit two or more homers in a game. They have now won nine games in a row when hitting more than one homer.

“Yeah, that’s really amazing,” Soto said of all the longballs. “It’s like everybody wants to dance in the dugout. That’s how they want to hit homers.”

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