(Photo credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports)
With left fielder Christian Yelich dealing with an ailing back, the Milwaukee Brewers needed someone to step up.
And Tyrone Taylor has answered the call.
Taylor, who has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games, will look to stay hot on Saturday night when the Milwaukee Brewers host the Washington Nationals in the second contest of a three-game series.
Over his last 10 games with an at-bat, Taylor is hitting .325 (13-for-40) with a homer and seven RBIs. In a six-game hitting streak as part of that stretch, he went 10-for-24 (.417).
Taylor appeared in Friday's 5-3 victory over Washington (65-83) as a defensive substitute but did not record an at-bat.
Along with Yelich, fellow outfielder Mark Canha also missed time (wrist soreness). Both Yelich and Canha were back in the lineup on Friday, combining to go 1-for-7.
Regardless of what Milwaukee's starting lineup looks like on Saturday, Taylor is confident in whoever takes the field.
"On any given day, you don't know who it's going to be to clutch-up for us," he said. "We have such a good pitching staff that whenever we score, shoot, just a couple of runs, we have a good chance of going out there (and winning)."
Right-hander Corbin Burnes (9-8, 3.47 ERA) will look to guide the Brewers (83-64) to their seventh win in the last nine games when he makes his 30th start of the season on Saturday.
In his most recent outing, Burnes settled for a no-decision after logging eight no-hit innings against the New York Yankees last Sunday. He walked two and struck out seven before exiting after 109 pitches.
Burnes, 28, is 0-0 with a 2.00 ERA in four career appearances (one start) against the Nationals.
Right-hander Trevor Williams (6-10, 5.44) will provide the opposition after giving up six runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers last Sunday. He walked four and fanned four en route to recording his third consecutive loss.
Williams, 31, is 4-3 with a 3.20 ERA in 12 career appearances (nine starts) against Milwaukee.
Friday's loss was frustrating for Washington, which scored three runs in the first inning, only to fail to cross the plate again. One of the few positives was Carter Kieboom, who went 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a run.
Kieboom entered the series opener just 2-for-25 (.080) in September, so Nationals manager Dave Martinez hopes Friday's performance is a sign of things to come.
"We changed some things with his approach and his swing," Martinez said. "I saw him a lot better, (he) got his hands a little bit further back. Talked to him about just staying in the middle of the field.
"He said, 'I saw the ball a lot better (Friday).'"
With their win and the Chicago Cubs' loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday, the Brewers increased their lead in the National League Central to 5 1/2 games over the Cubs.
--Field Level Media