Edwin Jackson went seven strong against the Rockies on 112 pitches tonight, giving up just one earned run on four hits, and the Washington Nationals, after going hitless through four against Jon Gray, struck for three runs on two home runs in the fifth, and took the series finale, 3-1, after dropping the first two of three with Colorado in D.C.
Jackson, who dialed it up to 98 mph on occasion, put together another solid start after struggling against the Milwaukee Brewers last time out, and, as Dusty Baker hoped he would, spared the Nationals’ bullpen a long night of work with an impressive outing in his third start for Washington.
Anthony Rendon broke up Gray’s perfect game with a leadoff single in the fifth, after the Rockies jumped out to a 1-0 lead, and Adam Lind followed with a two-run, opposite field home run to put the Nationals up, 2-1. Brian Goodwin hit the second of back-to-back jacks in the next at bat to put the Nats up 3-1. Lind’s blast as his 9th. Goody’s was his 11th.
Ryan Madson retired the Rockies in order in the eighth, and Sean Doolittle handled the ninth as the Nationals avoided a sweep and took the season series with the Rockies, 4-3.
Nationals now 62-41
HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED:
• Edwin Jackson struck out five of the first nine batters he faced in the nightcap of today’s doubleheader with the Rockies in Nationals Park, and the veteran righty got off to a strong start with three scoreless on 47 pitches.
• Rockies’ right-hander Jon Gray retired the first twelve batters he faced in order on 41 pitches.
• E-Jax set 12 of 14 Rockies down after Nolan Arenado’s two-out double in the first, but a walk to the opposing pitcher with two down in the fifth pushed him up to 84 pitches, and a single by Charlie Blackmon put two on in front of Gerardo Parra, who drove Gray in with a single to right field, 1-0, before Blackmon got thrown out trying to score when Parra got caught in a rundown. Score it 9-3-6-4-2 on the out at home.
• Gray’s no-hit bid ended with a leadoff single to left by Anthony Rendon in the fifth, and his bid for a shutout ended on a 95 mph 1-1 fastball to Adam Lind that went out the other way for a two-run opposite field homer.
• Brian Goodwin followed up on Lind’s blast with an oppo dinger of his own, hitting a 3-2 fastball into the left field bullpen. Wilmer Difo tripled to right on a grounder by first in the at bat that followed, but was stranded.
• E-Jax came back out for the seventh and threw a quick, 11-pitch, 1-2-3 frame that left him at 112 pitches.
• Edwin Jackson’s Line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 Ks, 112 P, 70 S, 7/3 GO/FO.
• Jon Gray’s Line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 Ks, 2 HRs, 99 P, 69 S, 9/2 GO/FO.
• Ryan Madson retired the Rockies in order in a 12-pitch eighth.
• Sean Doolittle handled the ninth. Ballgame. Final Score: 3-1 Nationals.
NATIONALS PREGAME NOTES:
- With today’s loss, the Washington Nationals are now 36-51 in the all-time series with the Colorado Rockies, though the Nats are 17-14 vs the Rox since the start of the 2013 season.
- Before today’s games, the Rockies were, 27-26 on the road overall this season, having dropped 16 of their past 19 road games.
- Ryan Zimmerman (237) started the day a home run away from passing Senators’ great Frank Howard for the all-time home run lead in D.C. baseball history. He got No. 238 in the third inning, and added a second home run later in the day half of today’s split doubleheader.
- Bryce Harper’s 19-game hit streak ended Saturday night, but over the course of his career-best stretch, the 24-year-old slugger went 33 for 77 (.429) with seven doubles, a triple, nine home runs, 12 walks, and 26 runs scored.
- In today’s Rockies-themed “Fun with Arbitrary End Points” segment: Gerardo Parra leads the National League with a .480 batting average... in July (24-for-50).
- Anthony Rendon started the day half of today’s doubleheader at an NL-leading 5.2 fWAR, which was the third-highest total in the majors, behind only the Astros’ Jose Altuve (5.5) and Yankees’ Aaron Judge (5.8).
- This Day in Nationals’ History: July 30, 2011 - “Jayson Werth homered and Yunesky Maya earned his first MLB win as the Nationals beat the Mets, 3-0.”
Nationals now 62-41