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Washington Nationals drop 2 of 3 to Colorado Rockies with 5-3 loss in finale in D.C.

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Lucas Giolito struggled with his command again and back-to-back home runs off the righty in the third lifted the Rockies over the Nationals, 5-3 final.

MLB: Colorado Rockies at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado Rockies’ third baseman Nolan Arenado hit an 0-2 fastball out to left on a line and outfielder David Dahl followed with an opposite field blast on a first-pitch fastball in the next at bat as the Rockies jumped out to a 4-1 lead over the Nationals and starter Lucas Giolito in the third inning this afternoon in Washington, D.C.

Colorado took two of three from the NL East division leaders in Coors Field earlier this month and took this series too, winning the finale to improve to 4-2 against the Nats this season with a 5-3 win.

Here’s how it happened:

Giolito struggled with his command early, giving up a single and a walk to the first two batters he faced, Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu. One out later, with Blackmon over at third, Nolan Arenado lined a 1-2 curve up in the zone to left-center for an RBI single that made it 1-0 Rockies after one.

It was tied up in a hurry, however, when Trea Turner smoked a 2-1 heater from Rockies’ right-hander Chad Bettis, sending a solo shot to left for a leadoff home run. HR No. 5 of 2016 for Turner, 1-1 after one.

Giolito retired seven straight batters between the first and third, but after a two-out, two-strike single to center by Carlos Gonzalez in the Rockies’ third, Nolan Arenado lined an 0-2 fastball out to left and David Dahl took a first-pitch fastball the other way in the next at bat for a solo shot that landed in the left field bullpen. 4-1 Rockies.

Lucas Giolito’s Line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 Ks, 2 HRs, 100 P, 64 S, 5/5 GO/FO.

Oliver Perez took over on the mound in the sixth and gave up back-to-back hits by left-handers Gerardo Parra and Daniel Descalso, who singled and doubled, respectively, to start the frame.

Koda Glover worked around a two-out single for a scoreless, 12-pitch seventh vs the Rockies.

Wilson Ramos stepped to the plate in the first at bat of the Nationals’ seventh and put a charge in a 90 mph first-pitch fastball, making it a two-run game with one swing. No. 20 for Ramos in 2016. 4-2 Rockies.

Daniel Descalso doubled to center with one down in the eighth and scored on an odd play when Glover hit the home plate umpire flush on the shoulder with a fastball that got by Ramos and bounced to the backstop, allowing the runner to score while Ramos checked on the ump and recovered the ball. 5-2.

Bryce Harper crushed a 3-1 fastball from Boone Logan, sending a solo shot to right and over the out-of-town scoreboard to start the Nationals’ ninth. No. 23 for No. 34, and 5-3 Rockies. That’s how it ended though.

5-3 Rockies final.

Nationals now 75-55

NATS NOTES:

  • With Saturday’s win, Colorado improved to 47-33 in the all-time series with Washington.
  • Washington’s 75-54 record heading into today’s finale with Colorado was the second-best mark in the majors, behind only the Chicago Cubs (82-46).
  • The Nationals +137 run differential on the year is the second-best in the majors as well, behind, again, only the Cubs (+218).
  • The Nationals were 14-10 against the Rockies since the start of the 2013 campaign heading into today’s series finale.
  • Among rookies with at least 180 PAs, Trea Turner has the highest AVG (.341) and he has the fifth-highest OBP (.363) and fifth-highest SLG (.532).
  • Turner had a 17-game on-base streak going heading into this afternoon’s series finale, with hits in 15 of 17, and he’s 32 for 79 (.405 AVG) with five doubles, two triples, two home runs, two walks, nine steals and 20 runs scored over this stretch. He extended it to 18-straight with a leadoff home run in the first.
  • Daniel Murphy starts the day leading the NL in SLG (.612), OPS (1.003), extra-base hits (67) and multi-hit games (50).
  • In today’s Nationals-themed “Fun with Arbitrary End Points” segment: Bryce Harper is 21 for 54 (.389 AVG), with six doubles, a triple, two home runs, 16 RBIs, 10 walks, three steals, 11 runs scored and a .648 SLG in 14 games since returning to the line since he dealt with a neck issue.
  • In a bonus “Fun with Arbitrary End Points” segment: Anthony Rendon is 38 for 109 (.349 AVG) with 15 doubles, five home runs, 13 walks and 20 runs scored... in 30 games since July 26th.

Nationals now 75-55