Falling behind early, the Nationals came back to sweep the Colorado Rockies, winning their fifth straight game in the process.
The Rockies struck first against Doug Fister (7-2) when Michael McHenry hit a three-run home run in the second. After allowing singles to Troy Tulowitzki and Corey Dickerson, Fister served up McHenry’s first homer of the year. Fister settled down after the at-bat, not allowing any more runs through seven.
In the fourth, the Nats evened the score off of Rockies’ rookie starting pitcher Tyler Matzek when Jayson Werth hit a two-run home run to centerfield, his seventh on the season, and then Ian Desmond singled home Bryce Harper a few batters later. The Nats then took the lead in the seventh when Desmond hit his 15th home run of the year, a ball that narrowly cleared the fence and had to be reviewed.
Coming off one of the few times this year where he hasn’t looked particularly sharp, Fister once again looked like he would struggle. The Rockies hit the ball hard off the right-hander, but Fister pitched effectively through seven, allowing three earned runs on seven hits while striking out five.
For the third straight night, the Rockies started a left-hander, giving the ball tonight to the rookie Matzek, making his fifth career start. Like Fister, other than the one shaky inning, Matzek pitched effectively. He allowed three earned runs on six hits and one walk in 6 1/3 innings while striking out six.
Matt Belisle (2-4) relieved Matzek and allowed the home run by Desmond.
Tyler Clippard came on to pitch the eighth, striking out two. After allowing a single to Justin Morneau, Clippard struck Tulowitzki out on a splitter that was the prettiest pitch thrown of the night because I rate these things.
Rafael Soriano pitched the ninth for his 20th save.
The home run by Werth was his first since June 11 in San Francisco and only his second dating back to May 14. In yesterday’s game, Werth doubled twice, showing signs that he’s heating up at the plate. Desmond also recorded two hits, the second time in the last three games with multiple hits.
The sweep of the Rockies was the first three-game series sweep since playing Philadelphia June 3-5. The Nats have now won five games in a row for the first time this season. They have also won 10 of their last 12 at home.
After an off day on Thursday, the Nats look to extend their winning streak to six next against the Chicago Cubs, starting a three-game series on Friday with Tanner Roark (7-5) against Jason Hammel (7-5).