Nationals hit four home runs to top Marlins

Jessica Camerato

By Jessica Camerato

WASHINGTON — The Nationals’ four solo home runs on Saturday were in good company — with each other.

“Hey, don’t get me wrong; I like homers,” manager Dave Martinez said. “But I also like homers the right way. These guys swung the bats fairly well today. We hit some hard balls. We hit some balls that went out of the ballpark, which is really nice.”

The Nationals took the series against the Marlins with a different approach to offensive success. Washington has hit singles at a National League-leading pace, but home runs have not come as frequently. In contrast, their 126 homers are the fewest in the NL.

“You’re going to have to win games all sorts of different kinds of ways,” Call said. “I think we have a team that can do that, whether it’s putting together a few hits, hitting the long ball, grinding out at-bats. We’ve got a lot of talented players, and I’m glad we could find a way to win today.”

Thomas sparked the offense with his second leadoff home run of the season. He worked an eight-pitch, two-strike at-bat against Trevor Rogers to send a 94.7 mph four-seam fastball a Statcast-projected 401 feet at 103.9 mph. Thomas has recorded a hit in 11 of his last 12 games (a .357 batting average), which includes a 10-game hitting streak and six multi-hit games.

Voit followed suit in the third frame by going yard against reliever Jeff Brigham, who made an early appearance after Rogers exited in the second inning with left lat discomfort. Voit’s 21st home run of the season — and eighth in 36 games since being acquired by the Nationals — came off a 94.8 mph four-seam fastball that traveled 384 feet at 107.5 mph. In his past 10 games, Voit is batting .358 and has four multi-hit performances. 

Carrying the momentum, Robles hit his fifth homer of the season in the fourth inning, also off Brigham. Four of Robles’ dingers have come at home, and he left no question this one was leaving Nats Park, too. He connected on an 82.4 mph slider that went 401 feet at 100.8 mph. 

Call capped off the home run surge in the next inning against Cole Sulser. Facing a full count like Thomas and Voit, Call went deep on a 92.5 mph four-seam fastball. His fourth home run, it was hit 378 feet at 99.4 mph.

The energy from the home runs flowed from one player to another. It created a momentum Robles described as “incredible,” with all three outfielders being part of the offensive surge.

“It’s important for me as well as for the team to finish strong,” said Robles. “I feel like if we finish strong with some good vibes, then it will continue for next season.”

Thomas, Voit, Robles and Call joined Josh Bell, Nelson Cruz, Maikel Franco and Keibert Ruiz as the second group of four players to go yard in a game for the Nationals this season. Their success at the plate set the tone for a solid performance by the rest of the team that translated into the Nats’ first series win against the Marlins since last September.

“For me, home runs are beautiful and they’re sexy,” said Martinez. “But I like the way we’re playing the game, period.”

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