Daniel Murphy singled off Colorado Rockies’ starter Tyler Chatwood to start the top of the second and one and two-out walks to Jayson Werth and Tanner Roark, respectively, loaded the bases in front of Adam Eaton, who sent a ground ball through the right side to drive in two runs for an early 2-0 lead.
Trea Turner homered with one out in the fifth, and after a walk to Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman hit a two-run blast to right-center field to put the Washington Nationals up 5-0 early in what ended up an 11-4 win over the Colorado Rockies.
The top five hitters in the Nationals’ lineup were a combined 13 for 24 with 10 runs scored and 11 RBIs, taking their eighth game in the last nine and second straight in Coors Field.
“Their top five guys right now, presently, are swinging it,” Rockies’ skipper Bud Black told reporters after the loss.
“Really swinging it. Very formidable, the first five guys in their lineup.”
“We have depth,” Dusty Baker said.
“We have power. Most of them are swinging pretty good right now. They get greedy, when they smell kind of blood in the water, they jump on it.
“This is what we preach all the time. You’ve got to be greedy and be aggressive out there, but be smart.”
“The fact that we’re scoring early in the games is something else that we preach, to jump them early,” Baker continued.
The Rockies scored two on Tanner Roark in a 41-pitch fifth inning in which he issued three straight walks after a one-out single, forcing in a run and allowing a second to score on a groundout that got the home team within three.
A four-run top of the seventh gave the Nationals some breathing room, however, with Zimmerman driving in a run with a single and Daniel Murphy adding a three-run home run, and they added two more in the eighth when Trea Turner doubled on a line drive to left-center and Bryce Harper singled in a run on a line drive to left field.
Zimmerman told MASN’s Dan Kolko that with Turner back in the mix now after missing time on the DL, opposing pitchers, “... have nowhere to go when you’re pitching to us and hopefully we can keep it going.”
Turner’s return to the top of the order has made a big difference, Zimmerman said.
“To have a guy like him and [Adam] Eaton at the top of the lineup, it’s tough to find one guy like that and to be able to have two guys like that in front of Harp, me and Murph, it’s not a great situation for the other team.”
Daniel Murphy said it was all about “sustained pressure”.
“Each at bat, guys are having great at bats,” Murphy said. “It’s starting at the top with the way Trea and [Eaton] are putting pressure on them and Bryce and Zim didn’t look like they took a single pitch off tonight and so, just sustained pressure and this is the kind of ballpark if you can get traffic on the basepaths it seems like the holes open up and just a great job by the offense.”
Bud Black said it was all about the Nationals making the most of their opportunities, while the Rockies did not.
“Their guys got the big hits and we didn’t quite capitalize on their guy scuffling a little bit in the fifth inning.”
With the win the Nationals improved to 15-6 on the year and 8-1 after nine games on the ten-game road trip that wraps up this afternoon.