Juan Soto Strikes Early:
The road has been nice to Juan Soto. Going into this afternoon’s series finale in Coors Field, the Washington Nationals’ 23-year-old slugger was 7 for 23 (.304/.333/.565) with two home runs, a walk, and five Ks in five games and 25 plate appearances on the current trip, and he added his third home run in six games (and 6th overall this season) in his first at-bat, hitting a 95 MPH 2-2 fastball low and not-in-enough from the Colorado Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela 411 feet to right field for a 1-0 lead in the first inning of the series finale.
Josh Bell walked after Soto’s one-out blast, and scored from first on a throwing error by the Rockies’ third baseman, Ryan McMahon, on a two-out grounder to the left side off of Maikel Franco’s bat, 2-0 Nationals early...
Sanchez vs the Rockies:
After the second of back-to-back starts against the San Francisco Giants, Aaron Sanchez, 29, told reporters he was happy to be back on the mound in the majors, following all the injury issues he’d dealt with the previous few years.
“I’m very happy to be where I am,” he explained, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.
“There’s been a lot of hard work, but I always knew there was a lot left in the tank. I’m in a great situation with everyone here.”
Sanchez underwent surgery to repair a torn capsule in his right shoulder, which kept him from pitching in the majors in 2020’s 60-game COVID campaign, then had a right biceps issue limit him to nine games (seven starts) and 35 1⁄3 IP for the Giants in 2021.
So just being back on the mound in the majors was a big deal for Sanchez.
In start No. 3 for the Nationals, who he signed with this spring, Sanchez took the mound with a 2-0 lead, and the Nats’ right-hander tossed a scoreless, 21-pitch bottom of the 1st, working around a walk.
In the second, however, he gave up back-to-back doubles in the first two at-bats, with both Ryan McMahon and Brendan Rogers connecting for two-base hits.
McMahon scored on the line drive to right by Rodgers which cut the Nationals’ early lead in half, 2-1.
Alcides Escobar booted a grounder up the middle in the shift in the next at-bat, putting two on for Garrett Hampson, who jumped on a first-pitch sinker from Sanchez, and hit it out 387 feet to left field for a 3-run blast and a 4-2 Rockies’ lead.
It was a 4-3 game in the fifth, when Charlie Blackmon singled to start the frame, took third base on a one-out single by Randall Grichuk, and scored on a ground ball up the middle of the field off C.J. Cron’s bat, 5-3 Rockies. That was it for Sanchez...
Aaron Sanchez’s Line: 4.1 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks, 1 HR, 84 P, 56 S, 7/2 GO/FO.
César Hernández went 2 for 4 in Wednesday night’s loss to the Rockies, with the first hit of the game for the infielder extending a hitting streak to 10-straight games. Hernández went 16 for 41 (.390/.444/.463) with three doubles, four RBIs, three walks, two stolen bases, and six runs scored during the 10-game stretch, and he extended his streak to 11-straight with a leadoff single in the top of the 5th this afternoon.
Hernández took second on a walk by Juan Soto and scored on a double to center off of Josh Bell’s bat, 4-3 Rockies. Soto got picked off third by catcher Dom Nuñez after wandering too far down the line, however...
Keibert Ruiz has now thrown out 6 of 13 would-be base stealers this season, after catching Yonathan Daza for out No. 3 of the #Rockies' 2nd. That's a 46% CS% for the #Nationals' 23-year-old catcher early this season. #Nats trail 4-2 in the 3rd in Coors Field.— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) May 5, 2022
Yadiel Hernández’s second hit of the game today, a one-out single in the fifth, gave him a streak of five straight multi-hit games, over which he was 12 for 20, and it chased the Rox’ starter, Antonio Senzatela.
Unfortunately for the Nationals, the hit came after Juan Soto got picked off of third base by the Rockies’ catcher, so they failed to tie it up in the fifth, when Maikel Franco grounded to second to start an inning-ending 4-6-3 in the next at-bat.
Jhoulys Chacín took over with runners on the corners, one out, and got the inning-ending DP out of Franco to keep it at 4-3 in the Rockies’ favor after 4 1/2.
Josh Rogers took over for the Nationals with two on and one out in the Rockies’ half of the fifth, and got the second out, but he left a 1-2 slider up and over the middle of the plate to Brendan Rodgers, who hit the hanger 438 feet to center in Coors Field for a three-run shot and an 8-3 lead for the home team.
Keibert Ruiz homered on an 0-1 slider from Chacín in the first at-bat of the top of the sixth, hitting a 424-foot blast to right field to make it a four-run game, 8-4 Rockies. No. 1 of 2022 for the Nationals’ backstop.
Rogers returned to the mound for the Nationals in the bottom of the sixth and retired the side in order to keep it a four-run game.
Juan Soto walked for the second time today, taking a free pass from Robert Stephenson to lead off the seventh, and he scored two outs later, on an RBI double by Maikel Franco, 8-5, and 8-6 when Franco scored on a double by Keibert Ruiz (2 for 4, double, HR).
Kyle Finnegan gave up a 389-foot home run to right by Randal Grichuk with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, 9-6 Rockies. Grichuk’s 4th of 2022.
Victor Robles doubled off Alex Colomé to lead off the eighth inning, took third on an Alcides Escobar groundout, then scored on a César Hernández grounder, 9-7 Rockies in the eighth.
That’s as close as the Nationals got...
Nationals now 9-18