By Brian Tinsman

WASHINGTON — Believe it or not, Washington Nationals speedster Trea Turner is a better runner today than he was in June when he was on pace for more than 70 steals in the season.

That speed was evidenced on Thursday night, in his third game back with the Nats. In it, he went three-for-four, turned a single into a double, stole third base, scored twice and drove in a run.

After the game, he was his typical subdued self while explaining how the time he spent away from the game with a non-displaced stress fracture in his wrist actually allowed him to hone is baserunning craft.

“It was kind of nice to get a chance to take those two months and work on running form and some different things,” he told the media after the game. “I probably ran more in those two months than I have in a long time. I tried to stay in shape as much as I can and it shows in games like this.

“Coming back, I’m not tired, not sore. I’m glad I did all the running and lifting I did while I was hurt.”

For all of the practice, Turner is excited to be excited again. Adrenaline takes his improved running form and gives him that extra boost.

“You work on the form, but then when you get in there and you try to beat out a ground ball, you may do something different,” he said. “I think we did a good job; I tried to focus on little stuff like that and stay in shape and be ready to play.”

For what it’s worth, Nats manager Dusty Baker is thrilled with the results.

“Oh yeah, it’s great having Trea back,” Baker said, shaking his head. “He makes things happen. He’s an impact player. We’re slowly but surely getting all of our guys back and into shape. We certainly welcome that back.”

 

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