WASHINGTON - In parts of three seasons with St. Louis, Lane Thomas never had more than 48 at-bats in one year with the Cardinals.
And he never played in more than 34 games with the club that acquired him in a deal with Toronto in July of 2017.
But in 29 games with the Nationals, Knoxville native Thomas seems to have found a home - and Nats’ fans hope it is a long-term address.
Thomas, acquired in late July from St. Louis for veteran pitcher Jon Lester, doubled in the sixth inning here Wednesday afternoon and later scored on a sacrifice fly as the Nationals took a short-lived lead.
With bases loaded and two outs in the last of the seventh, Thomas drew a walk against Miami reliever Anthony Bass to give the Nationals a 4-3 lead.
On the day, Thomas was 2-for-5 and drove in two runs with a walk as the Marlins came back to win 8-6.
“He has done really well. He is not afraid to hit with two strikes. He hits the ball hard. He has been a joy to watch,” manager Dave Martinez said after the game Wednesday.
Thomas and fellow newcomer Riley Adams each drew bases-loaded walks in the series against the Marlins.
“Those guys were not trying to get too big; today we had a lot of guys on base,” Martinez said. “We have to get better at driving those runs in.”
Washington was 3-for-16 with runners in scoring position on Wednesday on a humid day in the nation’s capital.
Thomas’s two-hit game gave him 12 multi-hit games since he joined the Nationals; and he reached base in 15 straight games before the streak ended Monday.
He had 15 RBIs in 84 games with the Cardinals and now has 18 in 29 games with the Nationals; Thomas is hitting .244 since coming to Washington.
Thomas was drafted out of his Tennessee high school by the Blue Jays in the fifth round in 2014.
He made his Major League debut with the Cardinals on April 17, 2019.