‘Redo’ helps Rockies beat Nationals 4-1
WASHINGTON – Given a chance to stay at the plate after a disputed non-strikeout, Carlos Gonzalez blooped an RBI double that helped the Colorado Rockies beat the Washington Nationals 4-1 Thursday night to complete a three-game sweep.
Gonzalez’s club record-tying streak of four games with a homer ended, but he again came through for the NL wild-card leaders. Troy Tulowitzki and Brad Hawpe also drove in runs to back a strong performance by Jason Hammel (8-7), who allowed one run and three hits in seven innings.
Huston Street worked a perfect ninth for his 32nd save in 33 chances, including every game this series.
Colorado has won four consecutive games and eight of 11.
It’s been a far more successful week off the field than on it for last-place Washington, which promoted acting general manager Mike Rizzo to the full-fledged GM job Thursday. The club also signed No. 1 overall draft pick Stephen Strasburg on Monday, and plans to introduce the hard-throwing right-hander to its fans at Nationals Park on Friday.
The Rockies had two runners on base with two outs in the fifth, and Garrett Mock (2-5) appeared to end the inning by fanning Gonzalez on a swing-and-miss.
The Nationals began walking toward the dugout, but Colorado manager Jim Tracy questioned the call – perhaps saying there was a foul tip – and Gonzalez was sent back to the batter’s box. It took a bit for play to resume, because Nationals interim manager Jim Riggleman came out to argue, to no avail.
On Mock’s next pitch, Gonzalez arched a ball barely beyond the outstretched glove of Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who was running in the outfield grass, his back to the infield.
That made it 1-0, and Colorado doubled its lead when Mock threw a wild pitch to the next hitter.
After Washington pulled within 2-1 in the sixth on Adam Dunn’s RBI double, the Rockies added to their lead with two runs off reliever Jason Bergmann in the eighth.
Both starters began quite well: Hammel retired the first 11 batters he faced, while Mock started with 10 straight outs.
The Nationals finally got to Hammel in the fourth, loading the bases on two singles and a walk – yet they came away with zero runs. That’s because, with two outs, Elijah Dukes hit a sharp grounder that third baseman Ian Stewart made a nice diving stop to grab. Then, seated in the dirt, Stewart threw to second to force out Josh Willingham.
NOTES: Nationals LHP Sean Burnett made a nice play to get Gonzalez out on a bunt leading off the eighth, hopping off the mound and scooping an underhand toss while lunging head-first. … Mock recorded eight of the season-high 13 strikeouts for Nationals pitchers. … Colorado has won nine games in a row against Washington. … Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
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