“He’s raring to go,” Martinez said. “Excited to be back on the field.”
Robles showed what the Nationals were missing in his first game back since Game 2 of the NL Division Series.
The 22-year-old worked back from an 0-2 count against Cardinals ace Jack Flaherty and led off the third inning with a single up the middle. That sparked a four-run rally which, against the Cardinals offense, looked as many as they’d need all night. And he homered, too, a leadoff opposite-field shot in the sixth to pad the lead further.
Robles dropped down a sacrifice bunt in the eighth inning of Game 2 in the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers and tweaked his hamstring on the run to first base. Robles exited immediately and Michael A. Taylor, the on-again, off-again Nationals outfielder, replaced him. Taylor provided similar defensive prowess in the outfield and at the plate, where his streaky nature has long been an issue, he went 6 for 20 (.300) and drew one walk while striking out seven times. Taylor delivered the Nationals the lead in Game 2 against the Cardinals with a solo home run to left field, which evened out when his error in the eighth inning gave St. Louis its first run of the series.
The Nationals had more than stopgap in Taylor, but they have a star in the making, a more dangerous lineup, with Robles.
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