The Washington Post

Anthony Rendon’s hot-hitting June continues

Anthony Rendon. (Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports)

Anthony Rendon was one of the Nationals’ best hitters in April, posting a .316/.352/.544 slash line along with four home runs and 20 RBI. Then in May, Rendon slumped, hitting .212/.292/.323 with two home runs and seven RBI.

With every game in June, Rendon has pushed further from his tepid second month of the season. After a 3 for 4 game that included a decisive RBI triple in the eighth inning of Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader, Rendon is hitting .315/.382/.587 in 23 games in June. He has smashed six home runs — including two critical game-tying shots — and driven in 18 RBI.

While the offense has been up and down around him, Rendon is back to being a consistent force this month. On the season, he is hitting .282 with a .826 OPS. Batting primarily from the two-hole in the lineup, Rendon is on pace for 24 home runs, 102 runs scored and 90 RBI.

He is 24, only in his second major league season and perhaps a darkhorse candidate for all-star game consideration as a bench player if he continuing his hot-hitting.

In the eighth inning of Saturday’s first game, Rendon’s skills were on display. With Denard Span on first and one out in the first inning, Rendon faced right-handed reliever Justin Grimm. He got a 92 mph fastball down the middle of the plate, waited and sliced it to right-center field. He raced around the bases, the ball one-hopped the wall and he slid safely into third base head-first. The run gave the Nationals a two-run lead.

“Just trying to put the barrel on the ball,” he said. “Don’t change my approach whatsoever, no matter what the situation is.”

James Wagner joined the Post in August 2010, wrote about high school sports across the region for two years and has covered the Nationals since the middle of the 2012 season.



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James Wagner · June 28, 2014