MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Nationals set club record in 8-run fourth

Nine hits, including eight in a row, establishes new high

Nationals set club record in 8-run fourth

ATLANTA -- Leave it to Nationals manager Dusty Baker to give historical perspective after what he witnessed in the fourth inning of Saturday night's 11-9 victory over the Braves at Turner Field.

During that frame, the Nationals collected a club-record nine hits, including eight in a row, and scored a season-high eight runs -- all off Braves rookie right-hander Tyrell Jenkins. Trea Turner collected the biggest knock, a three-run homer. Even ace Max Scherzer was able to get in on the act with an RBI single.

"I don't think I've ever seen eight hits in a row maybe since the days when the Pirates were known as 'The Lumber Company,'" Baker said. "I'm just glad we were doing some hitting."

Turner didn't want to make the second out of the inning when he came to the plate and hit that homer, his fourth of the year.

"I finally got one in the zone that I could put the barrel on," Turner said. "I was trying to get it in the outfield."

Scherzer said he was thankful that Baker gave him a chance to hit in that fourth inning. It helped that Scherzer was given the hit sign.

"Dusty had the confidence in me to go ahead and slash [at the plate]," Scherzer said. "As soon as I got the sign, I said, 'Heck, yeah, let's go. Let's get a knock.' Sure enough, I got a fastball away and was able to do something with it. I just helped keep that line moving, as the hitters always say."

As for Jenkins, he had problems keeping the ball down, and he paid dearly for it.

"It was a little different tonight. I didn't really have too many walks to start the trouble," Jenkins said. "I just kind of left the ball up a little bit, and they got some hits. That Turner home run just kind of put the dagger in there. They swung the bat well, and I just kind of let things get away from me."

Washington jumped out to a 9-3 lead thanks to that inning. As it turned out, the team needed all the runs it could get after the Braves plated six runs over the last three innings in a rally effort.

"You have to keep playing," Baker said. "You never know which run is going to be the deciding run."

Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.