Victor Robles was back in the Nationals’ lineup for Game 3 of the NL Championship Series after missing the previous five games with a hamstring injury.
Robles started in center field and batted eighth Monday night with Washington looking to take a 3-0 lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the best-of-seven series. Michael A. Taylor, who hit a solo home run in Game 2 on Saturday at St. Louis, had been in those spots with Robles out.
Robles took swings in the batting cage Sunday and looked strong enough working out for manager Dave Martinez to plug the 22-year-old back in. Martinez didn’t hesitate to say Robles would “get a chance to play” over Taylor when he was 100%.
“He ran the bases (Sunday) and ran them at full tilt. He looked really good,” Martinez said. “He’s raring to go and excited to get back on the field.”
Robles singled in his first at-bat and scored on Adam Eaton’s single in the third inning.
Robles hit .255 with 17 home runs, 65 RBIs and 28 stolen bases during his first full season in the majors. He last played in Game 2 of the NLDS against Los Angeles.
The Cardinals made one lineup change after putting up just one run on four hits in the first two games. José Martínez started in right field, with Tommy Edman shifting to third base in place of Matt Carpenter.
“José has just had good at-bats, putting good swings on the baseball,” manager Mike Shildt said. “Just looking to mix it up a bit, nothing too crazy, obviously. But José’s earned the opportunity to get in there and create some length in the lineup and in a spot where guys are doing their part in front of him and he can do some damage.”