- - Sunday, August 18, 2019

After a crushing loss in the wee hours of Sunday morning, the Nationals struck back with a vengeance later that afternoon.

Washington matched a Nationals franchise record with eight home runs in a 16-8 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

“They came ready to play,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “I like the fight.”

Left fielder Juan Soto and second baseman Brian Dozier both homered twice. For Dozier, it was a season-high four RBI. Matt Adams and Adam Eaton also homered and had three RBI apiece.

Washington had 11 extra-base hits Sunday. It was the first time in Nationals’ history that they scored at least 14 runs two games in a row.

“Sometimes I can hit the ball out of the infield,” joked the speedy Eaton, who also had a triple.

Shortstop Trea Turner reached base for a career-high 25th straight game and scored two runs. Eaton scored three times and backup catcher Yan Gomes had three hits to get his average up to .209. Washington had 11 extra-base hits and received back-to-back home runs from third baseman Anthony Rendon and Soto in the third inning.

Washington starting pitcher Erick Fedde was the beneficiary of the offensive onslaught, as he makes a bid to stay in the rotation when Max Scherzer returns.

Fedde did not allow a run in the first three innings. When he took the mound in the fourth, the Nationals led, 13-0. Fedde lasted five innings and gave up four runs on 10 hits and improved to 4-2, while his ERA rose to 4.31.

“It is amazing to have a huge lead like that,” Fedde said. “It makes it pretty simple: Go out and attack guys. The guys kept piling on runs. When guys get on it is important to bear down. Things have been a lot better with that.”

The Brewers hit four homers, with two off Fedde. Mike Moustakas hit two homers — one each against Fedde and reliever Kyle McGowin.

“You just try to keep the ball low,” Fedde said. “Balls in the air have a chance to get out.”

Soto has 28 homers this season and 50 in his two-year career. He has hit two homers in a game five times in his career.

Victor Robles also homered for the Nationals, who have 158 long balls this season. Adams had three hits and now has 62 RBI in part-time duty.

Washington (67-56) bounced back after hitting four homers Saturday night in its longest game of its season as closer Sean Doolittle gave up three homers in the ninth then went on the injured list before Sunday’s game.

But the Nationals won two of three games in the series and lead the National League wild card race.

“We wanted to try to get out there and get on them early,” Eaton said. “They have a really good offense; they never gave up.”

The Nationals scored seven runs in the third inning Sunday and are now a season-high 11 games above .500. However, the Nationals remain 5½ games back of the first-place Atlanta Braves, who beat the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday for the second straight day.

Many Nationals got to sleep around 3 a.m. Sunday after a 15-14 loss in 14 innings that began Saturday night.

The Nationals begin a four-game series Monday night in Pittsburgh. Joe Ross (3-3, 5.91) is on tap to start against the Pirates’ Trevor Williams (5-5, 5.25).

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