Soto walked the first time up at the plate, then singled in two of his next three at-bats, after two games off dealing with a left calf issue.
“He’s a huge piece of our lineup,” skipper Davey Martinez told reporters after his club snapped a six-game losing streak with the win. “But you know you saw him go today, and all year long we’re talking about him hitting the ball up the middle of the field, he comes back and stays on a changeup, hits it up the middle, and then he hits another ball up the middle so, but having him in the lineup makes a big difference for us, so hopefully for tomorrow, [Nelson Cruz] is okay, feeling better and we can get him back in the lineup as well.”
Cruz, 42, missed the first two games in Philly with a stomach bug.
“As of right now he’s got a stomach virus,” Martinez explained before last night’s game. “He’s a little bit under the weather. So we’ll monitor him, and hopefully throughout the day he’ll feel better.”
Martinez’s club needed a win, after the six straight losses, and they got a hard-earned one last night, holding on for a 3-2 win after Luis García hit a two-run double to center in the seventh to put the visitors on top.
“That was a good win,” the fifth-year manager said.
“After we struggled for six games, the boys came out today and they never gave up, they played hard.”
“I’ve said it all year,” he added. “These guys play hard. They’re relentless, they don’t quit, and that’s all I can ask from them. We lost some tough games over this past week. We were in a lot of games, we just couldn’t finish.”
Today they try to finish the three-game set in Citizens Bank Park strong in the rubber match with the Phillies.
HERE’S THE NATIONALS’ LINEUP FOR THE FINALE WITH THE PHILLIES: