Trea Turner Walk-Off Lifts Nats

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Trea Turner #7 of the Washington Nationals is greeted by team after hitting game winning home run in the ninth inning during a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park on September 9, 2016 in Washington, DC. The Nationals won 5-4. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

By Michael Marzzacco

Nationals rookie Trea Turner continued his impressive season by playing a big role in last night’s 5-4 win over the Phillies in DC. While Turner is known for his speed, he’s shown he has a presence at the plate. He hit two home runs, his second being a walk-off home run in the ninth inning that landed in dead center field to give the Nationals a big win after the Phillies came back and tied it in the eighth.

“I’m not a power lifter or anything like that, but I feel like I’m stronger than I look. It’s a matter of mechanics at the plate,” said Turner.

Trailing 1-0 in the fourth inning with Daniel Murphy on first, Anthony Rendon smashed a 2-0 count all the way to the Geico sign in right-center next to the out of town scoreboard. The ball landed off the top of the wall, a near home run but good enough for a double, and allowed Murphy to score from first to tie the game at 1.

Tanner Roark got the start for Washington and went six innings allowing just one run on six hits with eight strikeouts.

The Nats took the lead in the sixth with an RBI single by Bryce Harper into right field that scored Murphy. Harper advanced to second base on a throw to home plate that went off the line.

The Nationals expanded their lead to 4-1 in the seventh thanks to a two-run shot by Trea Turner into the left field seats just inside the foul pole. The Phillies answered in the eighth with a three-run shot by Cameron Rupp into the seats in left field above the visitor’s bullpen off of Nats reliever Koda Glover.

The Nats got the win in the bottom of the ninth with Turner’s walk-off home run that landed over the wall in straightaway center. It was his eighth home run of the year and his first big league walk-off homer.

This was Turner’s second impressive game of the week. On Monday in a win over Atlanta, he homered and finished just a triple shy of the cycle. In August and now through September he has continued to impress and win over the fans after a great showing in the minors last year and during the first half of this season.

“Everybody was hollering that he should have been up here sooner, but I disagree. I think we’ve left him down there (in the minor leagues) long enough to get his confidence and to fine-tune his skills,” said Nationals Manager Dusty Baker.

The third game of the series takes place tonight at 7:05. It’ll be Max Scherzer (16-7, 2.88 ERA) for the Nats up against Jerad Eickhoff (10-13, 3.86 ERA).

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