Taylor gets 3 hits, Nationals beat Braves 11-1
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) Michael Taylor was 3 for 3, Stephen Drew drove in three runs and Clint Robinson hit a long two-run homer in the Washington Nationals' 11-1 win over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night.
Taylor had a single and a double in the first two innings against Atlanta starter Manny Banuelos, who gave up four runs on six hits in two innings in his first appearance this spring.
''Right now I feel nice and slow at the plate, so I think that's a good place to be. It gives me more time to recognize the pitches,'' said Taylor, who is trying to earn playing time as the Nationals' fourth outfielder.
''He's going to play quite a bit,'' manager Dusty Baker said. ''When we have four quality outfielders, that's the mark of a good team. You've got to have depth and we certainly have depth. He had a great game today.''
Drew drove in the first two runs with a double, and Robinson launched his second homer of the spring off Aaron Blair with Taylor on base in the fourth.
Tanner Roark pitched four innings for the Nationals, giving up one run on three hits while striking out three.
''Tanner pitched pretty well,'' Baker said. ''He didn't have the great stuff he had the last two times but that's a good sign when you can win without your best stuff.''
Jace Peterson tripled off Roark and scored Atlanta's only run on a ground ball.
Tyler Moore hit his second homer for the Nationals in the eighth inning, and Trea Turner was 2 for 3.
Nationals: Roark, bidding for a spot in the rotation after starting 12 games last season, gave up his first run of the spring in his third start.
''I pitched behind in the count a lot and that's the biggest thing I didn't want to do,'' he said. ''That's how you get in trouble, but overall I felt good.''
Braves: Banuelos, who pitched a half season in the majors last year after coming in a trade from the New York Yankees, was hit hard.
''I'll have to make the adjustments. I think the velocity will come back if I just keep pitching,'' he said.
Braves: C Tyler Flowers had a single in his first at-bat, playing as a DH for the first time after missing a week with a strained hamstring.
Nationals: Right-hander Max Scherzer will make his third start, against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Braves: Right-hander Matt Wisler gets his second start, against the Houston Astros.