Bill Ladson

Worth the wait: Turner rewards family, friends

With Lake Worth crew in attendance, Nats rookie goes deep for first and only hit in Miami

Worth the wait: Turner rewards family, friends

MIAMI -- Nationals center fielder Trea Turner showed off in front of family members Wednesday night, hitting a blistering home run in an 8-3 victory over the Marlins.

Turner -- who is from Lake Worth, Fla., which is a little over 60 miles away from Miami -- had a lot of family and friends visit Marlins Park to watch him play this week. He was hitless in the first two games of the three-game series, and it didn't help that he was pulling off the ball.

But in his fourth at-bat Wednesday, against right-hander Austin Brice, Turner smashed a homer to left field that gave Washington a 6-0 lead. The exit velocity was 102 mph, while the ball traveled 402 feet from home plate as projected by Statcast™.

It was Turner's 12th home run in 63 games, the sixth most by a Nationals rookie. After hitting the home run, Turner joked he didn't have to be scolded by family members.

"I felt good. I didn't have to listen to my mom yell at me or anything," Turner said. "It's fun having them all here. I get to see them every day they come down -- family, friends, everybody. It's nice to get a chance to play here. Last year, I was here, but I didn't play much. It was good to get in there."

The home run was Turner's only hit in the series. Manager Dusty Baker told him it happens to everybody.

"When you play in front of your parents, your uncles, cousins and home boys and everybody, you want to do well, and sometimes you try too hard," Baker said. "This is probably the worst series he's had. But it's great for him to play in front of everybody. But I'm sure he'll be more relaxed when we get to Pittsburgh."

The Nationals reduced their magic number for clinching the National League East to two, and they are in position to clinch the division title in Friday's opener against the Pirates.

Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for 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.