Washington Nationals’ right-hander Joe Ross gave up three home runs and four runs total in five innings on the mound in the series opener in Coors Field, and Nats’ hitters failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities against Colorado’s lefty Kyle Freeland, scoring just two runs on eleven hits against the Rockies’ starter in what ended up being a 5-2 win for the home team.
Ross vs the Rockies: In his third start back tonight, in Coors Field in Colorado, right-hander Joe Ross, who underwent Tommy John surgery in July 2017 and worked his way back to the mound in the majors earlier this month, tossed a scoreless, 1-2-3 first, but gave up a leadoff double by Nolan Arenado and a walk to Trevor Story in the first two at bats of the Rockies’ second.
Arenado took third on a fly to center by Carlos Gonalez, but Ian Desmond sent one back to the mound to start an inning-ending 1-6-3 DP that got Ross out of an early jam.
Ross retired the first two batters in the third, striking out both, but left a 1-2 slider up inside to Charlie Blackmon, who hit a solo shot out to right to put the Rockies up, 1-0.
Chuck knows the best way to break up a scoreless game! pic.twitter.com/ERLOi9STsy— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) September 29, 2018
It was 2-1 Nationals in the fifth inning when Carlos Gonzalez singled to start the frame and scored on a two-run homer to right by Ian Desmond, 3-2, and 4-2 on a Chris Iannetta blast on a knee-high, 0-1 sinker outside in the next at bat. Back-to-back jacks...
871ft of back-to-back jacks! pic.twitter.com/qtB9KhgShC— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) September 29, 2018
Joe Ross’s Line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 Ks, 3 HRs, 81 P, 54 S, 5/3 GO/FO.
Freeland vs the Nationals: Facing the Washington Nationals in the nation’s capital back in April, Rockies’ left-hander Kyle Freeland held the home team to four hits, three walks, and one earned run in 4 1⁄3 IP over which he threw a total of 101 pitches. It was a relatively brief outing in what ended up a 2-1 win for the visiting team.
Heading into his second start against the Nationals this season, the Rockies’ southpaw was in the midst of a 10-start unbeaten streak that stretched back to August 6th, over which he was (7-0) with a 2.10 ERA, 22 walks, 64 Ks, and a .215/.284/.305 line against in 64 1⁄3 IP.
Freeland worked around a two-out single in the first and worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the second, starting an inning-ending 1-2-3 DP after giving up three consecutive one-out singles.
Victor Robles bunted his way on and Bryce Harper (2 for 2) singled to left in the top of the third, and they pulled a double steal as Anthony Rendon K’d swinging for the second out, before Juan Soto walked to load’em up, but Mark Reynolds K’d swinging as the Nationals failed to cash in on a second straight bases-loaded opportunity.
Back-to-back singles by Sanchez (2 for 2) and Kieboom (2 for 2) in the fourth, and a two-out, two-run triple to right-center by Trea Turner put the Nationals on top, 2-1, after the Rockies jumped out to an early lead.
Given a 4-2 lead to work with after five, Freeland came back out and worked around a two-out double by Victor Robles for a scoreless nine-pitch frame that left him at 96 pitches and ended his night.
Kyle Freeland’s Line: 6.0 IP, 11 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 Ks, 96 P, 65 S, 4/2 GO/FO.
Turn, Turn, Turner: Playing in his 160th game of the 2018 campaign (156 starts and four appearances off the bench), Trea Turner lined out in each of his first two plate appearances tonight in Coors Field, but connected for a two-run triple the third time up, sending a 93 mph 2-2 fastball from Kyle Freeland into the right-center gap in Coors Field for his sixth triple of the season and the first two runs of the game for the visiting Nationals.
Solis vs Lefties?: Sammy Solis (as you’ll read below) faced one batter and gave up a home run by left-handed hitting outfielder David Dahl (who had homered in four straight before tonight). It was the fifth home run by a left-hander this season off the Nationals’ lefty, who’s held right-handed hitters to a .224/.337/.382 line, but started the series opener in Coors Field with a .321/.391/.551 line against vs right-handed hitters. That’s no bueno.
BULLPEN ACTION: Sammy Solis took over on the mound for the Nationals in the bottom of the sixth, and promptly surrendered a solo home run to right by David Dahl, who hit the 4th home run of the game for the Rockies and his 5th in the last five games (and 15th overall).
Justin Miller took over after Solis allowed the homer, and worked around a two-out double to keep it a three-run game.
Harrison Musgrave came on for the Rockies in the top of the seventh and retired one batter before handing it over to Scott Oberg, who surrendered a one-out by Anthony Rendon (44), but stranded the only runner to reach base.
Jimmy Cordero worked around a leadoff single for a scoreless, nine-pitch seventh.
Adam Ottavino retired the Nationals in order in a seven-pitch eighth.
Wander Suero tossed a scoreless bottom of the eighth.
Wade Davis came on for the save opportunity in the top of the ninth inning and retired the Nationals in order.
Final Score: 5-2 Rockies
Nationals now 81-79