Gio Gonzalez went 6 2⁄3 innings on the mound today in Coors Field, limiting the Rockies to two runs on seven hits as the Washington Nationals took the series finale in Denver, CO to finish with a 9-1 record on their ten-game road trip through Atlanta, New York and the Mile-High City.
Gonzalez received plenty of run support in what ended up a 16-5 win in which he was able to collect two RBIs himself, on an RBI infield single in the sixth and a bases-loaded walk in the seventh.
The Nationals blew things wide open in an 11-run top of the seventh in which they set franchise records (2005-present) for runs and plate appearances (15) in a single inning.
With wins in three of four with the Rockies, the Nationals improved to 16-6 on the year as they head home to start a three-game set with the Mets in the nation’s capital after sweeping three-straight from their NL East rivals in Citi Field last weekend.
Nationals now 16-6
Here’s how it happened:
• Gio Gonzalez retired the first two batters he faced this afternoon, but fell behind 2-0 on Nolan Arenado and gave up a solo home run to left on a 90 mph fastball that ended up deep in the left field seats. 1-0 Rockies on Arenado’s 7th of 2016.
• Rockies’ right-hander Antonio Senzatela was getting squeezed some by home plate ump Mike Winters as he walked Jayson Werth and Matt Wieters in back-to-back ABs with one out in the second, and Wilmer Difo followed with an RBI double to right on a first-pitch fastball that bounced off the outfield wall in Coors Field. Werth scored to tie the game up at 1-1.
• Trea Turner hit a first-pitch slider to left field for a leadoff double in the Nationals’ third, took third on a Bryce Harper groundout and scored on a one-hop grounder to third off Daniel Murphy’s bat, 2-1.
• Gio Gonzalez gave up back-to-back, one-out walks in the Rockies’ half of the fourth, and Pat Valaika (2 for 2) followed with an RBI single to center on a first-pitch change that tied it up at 2-2 and left runners on the corners, but Gonzalez got a 5-4-3 DP out of Dustin Garneau to end the threat and keep it tied.
• It wasn’t tied for long as Adam Eaton stepped in with one out in the top of the fifth and hit a 1-1 change 411-ish feet to right field, into the second-deck for a go-ahead home run that made it 3-2 Nationals. Eaton’s second of 2017.
• Jayson Werth (HBP) and Matt Wieters (single) reached base with one out in the sixth and pulled a double steal with Wilmer Difo at the plate. Difo popped out, but Dusty Baker let Gio Gonzalez hit, and Gonzalez’s infield single up the middle brought in Werth for the Nationals’ fourth run, 4-2.
• Antonio Senzatela’s Line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 99 P, 56 S, 9/3 GO/FO.
• Adam Eaton doubled to left to start the seventh on a line drive Pat Valaika misjudged, and Eaton scored from third one out later when Mark Reynolds got deked into a throw home on a sharp grounder to first off Bryce Harper’s bat and sailed it.
Eaton, who’d returned to third base, scored easily on the throwing error, 5-2.
Daniel Murphy doubled to drive Harper in and Adam Lind singled to center to score Murphy, 7-2 Nationals in the seventh.
Three straight walks forced in two more runs, 9-2, Trea Turner singled in two runs, 11-2, Bryce Harper hit a three-run home run, 14-2... and Murphy singled for his second hit of the inning and scored on an Adam Lind double, 15-2. That’s an 11-run inning, folks.
• Gio Gonzalez’s Line: 6.2 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 Ks, 1 HR, 106 P, 60 S, 10/2 GO/FO.
• Matt Albers finished the seventh and came back for a scoreless eighth.
• Daniel Murphy’s third hit of the game was a one-out solo home run to right in the ninth that made it 16-2 Nationals.
• Joe Blanton gave up three hits and three runs, two earned in the bottom of the ninth inning. Final score, 16-5 Nationals.
NATIONALS PREGAME NOTES:
- In today’s “Fun with Arbitrary End Points” update: Colorado still holds the advantage in the all-time series with Washington, 49-35, BUT, the Nationals are 16-12 against the Rockies since 2013.
- With a win today, the Nationals could post the best winning percentage in franchise history (2005-present) for a 10+ game road trip, having won 8 of 9 so far (.889).
- After he hit for the cycle on Tuesday and went 3 for 5 last night, Trea Turner has five extra-base hits, seven runs scored, and nine RBIs in his last two games.
- The Nationals start the day leading the majors in OBP (.351) and doubles (47) and they are second in AVG (.276), runs scored (123) and SLG (.566).
- Ryan Zimmerman (who’s sitting today) is 15 for 33 (.455 AVG) with three doubles and five home runs on the current road trip.
- Gio Gonzalez was (1-0) with a 4.00 ERA (4 ER/9 IP) vs the Rockies last season.
- Washington’s 15-6 start is their best start through 21 games in franchise history (2005-present).
Nationals now 16-6