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Washington Nationals’ Michael A. Taylor heating up? Nats could use 2017 MAT...

A return to his 2017 form for Michael A. Taylor would help the Nationals’ struggling offense.

MLB: Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Michael A. Taylor started the night on Sunday 5 for 11 (.455/.455/.545) against Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood in their respective careers, and he was 3 for 3 with a single, HR, and double after he lined an 0-2 curve to left field for a one-out, two-base hit in the sixth inning of the series finale.

Taylor took third on errant pick attempt at second in the at bat after his double in the sixth, and scored on a sac fly to center by Moises Sierra to put the Washington Nationals up 3-0 after 5 12 in the third game of the three-game set in Chavez Ravine.

After a 2 for 4 game in the series opener in LA, Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez talked to reporters about the positive signs he was seeing from Taylor, the 27-year-old outfielder, who was off to a slow start after a breakout campaign in the nation’s capital in 2017.

Taylor was just 12 for 66 (.182/.239/.227) with three doubles, five walks, and 25 Ks in 71 PAs (35% K%) heading into the series with the Dodgers.

“He’s been starting to hit the ball really well as of late,” Martinez said, after Taylor went 2 for 3 vs Clayton Kershaw, doubling in the fifth, then singling to drive in a run in the sixth on a 2-2 curve from the Dodgers’ left-hander.

“He’s been trying to cut down on his stride a little bit and stay in the middle of the field, and it was good to see that he was able to hit a breaking ball up the middle and get another hit there.”

Taylor lined an 0-1 curve to right in his first at bat against Wood on Sunday, then crushed a 1-0 curveball in his second at bat, sending a no-doubter out to left, and he got hold of an 0-2 curve at bat No. 3, lining another breaking ball to left field, and improving to 8 for 14 in his career vs Wood.

Going up against Pedro Baez in his fourth at bat of the night with two out in the top of the eighth, Taylor took a five-pitch walk, then stole second base, maneuvering around the tag on a strong throw to second by Yasmani Grandal, but he was stranded there.

Through 22 games, Taylor now has a .224/.280/.329 line with five doubles, a home run, six walks, and 28 Ks (34.1 K%) in 82 PAs, over which he’s been worth 0.1 fWAR.

Taylor’s coming off a .271/.320/.486, 23 double, 19 home run, 3.2 fWAR campaign in 2017. A return to that sort of production would be a welcome addition to a Nationals’ offense that’s struggled to score runs early this season.