Revere stuffs stat sheet to spark Nationals

Revere stuffs stat sheet to spark Nationals

MIAMI -- As he struggled during the past month after being activated from the disabled list from a right oblique injury, Ben Revere heard the same message from manager Dusty Baker, the Nationals' coaching staff, numerous teammates and even general manager Mike Rizzo.

"'We know you can hit so we're not worried about it,'" Revere cited as the universal message after Sunday's 8-2 victory over the Marlins at Marlins Park. "Every single person in here really had my back, the struggle I was going through. It was kind of uplifting."

This was the Revere the Nationals envisioned at the top of their lineup. He filled up the stat sheet with his first three-hit output of the season, first two stolen bases and a pair of runs scored. Revere now has seven hits in his last 14 at-bats, an encouraging sign for the Nationals' offense.

"He's the same Ben that we traded for," Baker said. "It's just that when you get hurt in the first game of the season, you're operating from behind."

Baker had considered keeping Revere out of the lineup Sunday since he usually finds a way to play Michael Taylor against left-handed starters. But Marlins lefty Adam Conley has reverse splits and is tougher on righties than lefties.

The Nationals were happy to have Revere in the lineup. He began the game with a single, promptly swiped second base, reached third on a fielder's choice and scored on a sacrifice fly by Bryce Harper. He reached base to start the third inning on a drag bunt to first baseman Justin Bour, advanced to second on a groundout, stole third then scored on an infield single by Daniel Murphy. Then Revere broke the game open in the sixth with a two-run single to right field.

"When he's at the top of our lineup doing that for us, our offense can really go," Max Scherzer said. "He's really the sparkplug for our offense, and to watch him have success right now and kind of come out of this funk, that's great for us."

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.