Baseball

Philipsburg native Matt Adams is on one of the hottest streaks in baseball

Washington Nationals' Matt Adams (15) hits an RBI single against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the sixth inning of a baseball game at Nationals Park, Tuesday, May 1, 2018, in Washington. Behind the plate is Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli.
Washington Nationals' Matt Adams (15) hits an RBI single against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the sixth inning of a baseball game at Nationals Park, Tuesday, May 1, 2018, in Washington. Behind the plate is Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli. AP

If baseball fans across the country didn't know the name "Matt Adams" before, they certainly do now.

The Philipsburg-Osceola Area High School grad is on fire for the Washington Nationals, going yard seven times in the past seven games, including 13 RBIs.

His two dingers Monday night against the Padres bring Adams' season total up to 10 home runs in 74 at bats, tying him for fourth place in the majors, just three behind home run leader Mookie Betts, of Boston. Only five players have more home runs than Adams. He's also tied for 10th place in RBIs with 23.

And what makes Adams' hot streak even more impressive is the fact that he's not even a true starter for the Nationals. The 29-year-old, who was signed for $4 million by the Nationals this offseason, spent most of the season as a pinch hitter. But as Adams' bat has started to heat up, the Nationals have been looking for more ways to get him into their lineup.

Adams started his seven-game hot streak against the Pirates on May 1 when he was thrown into the lineup for slumping first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. As he's done with the Braves and the Cardinals before that, Adams took it to the Pirates, homering twice in the first game, and then again in the next game.

The Slippery Rock graduate continued his onslaught against Pennsylvania teams, when he homered twice more during a three-game series with the Phillies. That series also brought a highlight-reel moment for Adams on defense, when he robbed Maikel Franco of a home run on May 4 while playing left field.

As Zimmerman has been out for the past three games with a stiff back, Adams has gotten to play first base, again highlighting his defensive skills on Monday night when he made a diving stop down the first-base line, then got up in time to nab the Padres' Chase Headley.

Regardless of whether Adams gets to stay in the starting lineup or not, he's certainly been making a strong case for it., homering three times in the past three games that Zimmerman has been out.

But Adams isn't letting himself get too caught up in the lineup drama.

"I'm not one to really dwell on stuff like that," he told FederalBaseball.com, "but it's definitely feeling good, so I'm just going to try to keep running out there with confidence every day."

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