WASHINGTON — Victor Robles is back in the Nationals’ lineup for Game 3 of the NL Championship Series after missing the past five games with a hamstring injury.
Robles was starting in centre field and batting eighth Monday night with Washington looking to take a commanding 3-0 series lead over the St. Louis Cardinals. Michael A. Taylor, who hit a solo home run in Game 2 Saturday at St. Louis, had been in that spot.
Robles took some 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 that 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 hit .255 with 17 home runs and 65 RBIs and had 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 the past two games. Jose Martinez was starting in right field, with Tommy Edman shifting to third base to replace Matt Carpenter.
"Jose 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 Jose’s earned the opportunity to get in there and create some length in the lineup and in a spot where guys are in doing their part front of him and he can do some damage."