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Washington Nationals drop series opener to Colorado Rockies, 7-5 in Coors Field

Nationals’ starter Jeremy Hellickson gave up five runs in five innings of work on the mound in Coors Field, in what ended up a 7-5 loss to the Rockies.

MLB: Washington Nationals at Colorado Rockies Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Jeremy Hellickson could not hold on to 2-0 or 5-2 leads, and the Washington Nationals’ ‘pen couldn’t keep it tied at 5-5, with Wander Suero giving up a solo home run by Nolan Arenado in the seventh which put the Colorado Rockies up for good in a 7-5 win in the series opener in Coors Field.

Hellboy vs the Rockies: Jeremy Hellickson earned wins in each of his first two starts of the 2019 campaign, and before his second outing, Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez talked to reporters about what he’s seen from the righty, with whom he has a long history that goes back to their time together in Tampa Bay.

“He’s really been unbelievable since he’s been here,” Martinez said.

“And he feels really good. The biggest thing he and I talk about is Spring Training, you know, him having a full Spring Training this year as opposed to last year, and he feels really good, so having him in the back, he’s done — in his career he’s done multiple things, you know, so he just goes out there and he wants to pitch, and he keeps us in ballgames, and that’s all we can ask.”

Hellickson took the mound for his third start of the season tonight in Coors Field with a 2-0 lead, but gave it right back with David Dahl singling and scoring on an RBI double by Nolan Arenado, who smoked a first-pitch fastball, and Ryan McMahon driving Arenado in with two out when he lined a 1-0 cutter to center for an RBI single, 2-2.

It was 5-2 Nationals in the fifth, courtesy of a three-run blast by Brian Dozier, but Arenado hit a line drive double to left and by a diving Juan Soto to start the inning, and scored on an RBI single by Trevor Story in the next at bat, 5-3.

Mark Reynolds stepped up one out later and hit a 3-1 changeup to straight-center for a two-run homer that tied it up at 5-5.

Jeremy Hellickson’s Line: 5.0 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks, 1 HR, 93 P, 58 S, 5/2 GO/FO.

Anderson vs the Nationals: Rockies’ left-hander Tyler Anderson took a loss in each of his first two outings of 2019, and he got hit hard in both starts, with 18 hits and 11 earned runs allowed, and a rough .429/.457/.690 line against over nine innings pitched.

Anderson and the Rockies fell behind early tonight, with Adam Eaton (single) and Juan Soto (walk) both scoring (after a double steal put them both in scoring position) on an RBI single to center by Howie Kendrick, 2-0.

Ryan Zimmerman singled and Yan Gomes walked in the first two at bats of the fourth, with the score tied at 2-2, and Brian Dozier hit a 2-0 cutter out to left field to make it 5-2 and end Anderson’s night.

Tyler Anderson’s Line: 3.0 IP 4 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 81 P, 52 S, 3/0 GO/FO.

Eaton and Robles streaking: Adam Eaton’s first of two hits on Sunday extended a hitting streak to seven-straight games, over which the 30-year-old outfielder was 13 for 30 (.433 AVG) with two doubles, a home run, two RBIs, three walks, and seven runs scored, and he had reached base in 17 of 19 games on the season.

Eaton singled in his first at bat tonight, extending his streak to eight-straight, and reaching base in the 18th of 20 games.

Victor Robles’s 1 for 4 game in Miami on Sunday extended his hitting streak to a career-high seven straight games, over which the 20-year-old outfielder was 8 for 25 (.320 AVG) with two doubles, two stolen bases, and three runs scored.

The run for Robles left him with a .286/.333/.529 line, six doubles, three homers, four walks, and 24 Ks on the season.

Robles was 0 for 3 through five, and 0 for 4 after he struck out to start the eighth.

BULLPEN ACTION: Chad Bettis took over in the top of the fourth, with the Rockies trailing 5-2 after Brian Dozier’s three-run home run off Tyler Anderson, and retired three straight to keep it a three-run deficit for the Rockies.

Bettis returned to the mound in the fifth, and tossed a scoreless frame, then did it again in the sixth after the Rockies rallied to tie it at 5-5 in the bottom of the previous frame.

Matt Grace gave up a leadoff walk in the Rockies’ half of the sixth, but the baserunner (Pat Valaika) was erased on a 9-4 DP when Victor Robles caught a fly to center field off Charlie Blackmon’s bat and threw a strike to second to get the tagging runner. Grace finished off a 10-pitch inning to keep it tied.

Suenghwan Oh retired the Nationals in order in the top of the seventh.

Wander Suero took over for the Nats in the bottom of the seventh, and gave up a go-ahead home run by Nolan Arenado, whose third hit of the night put the Rockies up, 6-5.

Scott Oberg got the eighth for the home team, trying to preserve the one-run lead, and got a 6-4-3 DP from Howie Kendrick to end the inning after a one-out single by Juan Soto.

Kyle Barraclough gave up a two-out solo shot to right by pinch hitter Raimel Tapia, 7-5, and the Rockies closed out the win with a scoreless ninth by Wade Davis, who worked around a leadoff double by Ryan Zimmerman and one-out walk by Brian Dozier with help from Nolan Arenado on a game-ending 5-3 DP.

Nationals now 10-11