And that paid off for Werth on Tuesday, as he had two hits and
three RBIs, and pitcher Stephen Strasburg allowed just one run as
the Washington Nationals beat the fading Colorado Rockies 7-1 in the
middle game of a three-game set.
Werth, the Nationals' right fielder, entered the game hitting .135
in his last 13 games, but he had an RBI double in the first and a
two-run double in the fourth. He also walked twice.
"I was here last night watching video with Rick Schu. We made a
minor adjustment," said Werth. "I'm a feel guy. I go on feel.
Hopefully that will help get me going. I felt good. It is not for a
lack of effort" that caused him to struggle recently.
Strasburg (7-6) gave up one run and five hits with eight strikeouts
in 7 2/3 innings as the Nationals won their fourth game in a row.
Second baseman DJ LeMahieu broke up the shutout bid with a long solo
homer in the eighth to make it 7-1.
"I just tried to execute my pitches better," said Strasburg, who had
allowed 17 hits in his previous two starts. "I wanted to go out
there and trust my stuff. I wanted to keep the ball down a little
"Everyone has a bad outing over the course of the year," added
Strasburg, who gave up eight hits and seven runs in his last start,
on Wednesday at Milwaukee.
Strasburg also had success as a hitter and fielder. He doubled and
scored in the fourth, had a sacrifice bunt in the fifth, helped
complete a 3-6-1 double play in the sixth and walked in the seventh.
Reliever Craig Stammen got the last four outs for the Nationals.
Since winning five games in a row through June 15, the Rockies have
now lost 13 of their last 15 games. Colorado began July with a
lopsided loss after going 8-20 in June with a team ERA of 6.48.
"It is up to us to turn it around," said manager Walt Weiss. "We got
down early and we made it tough."
Colorado starter Christian Friedrich (0-3) lost his third straight
start since he was called up from Triple-A, where he had an ERA of
7.89 in 13 games.
"We are not going to make any decisions right now," Weiss said of
Friedrich's spot in the rotation. "A lot of deep counts. That made
Washington left fielder Bryce Harper, in his second game since
coming off the disabled list, was 1-for-5 with three strikeouts a
day after he suggested he should be playing center field.
Starting third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who played first later in the
game, added two hits for Washington.
Rockies' catcher Wilin Rosario had singles in his first two at bats
[to top of second column]
Nationals second baseman Anthony Rendon hit a two-run double, and
Werth drove in the third run of the fourth inning with a double to
make it 6-0. The Nationals increased the margin to 7-0 when Werth
scored on a second wild pitch of the inning by reliever Chad Bettis
as the game turned into a laugher.
The Nationals jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first on a two-run
double by Werth and a sacrifice fly by Zimmerman.
Friedrich gave up five runs in 3 1/3 innings before Bettis took
over. Friedrich's ERA rose from 8.10 to 9.45.
Strasburg had an adventurous tour around the bases in the fourth.
First, he hit a sinking liner that right fielder Brandon Barnes
dived for and missed. Strasburg settled for a double, though he
started for third. The pitcher then went to third on a single by
center fielder Denard Span but did not try to advance on a wild
pitch by Bettis as Span went to second. Strasburg scored easily on
the double to left by Rendon.
"It was a little foreign to me," Strasburg said of being on base
this year. He is hitting .094 but his ERA fell to 3.53.
NOTES: Colorado SS Troy Tulowitzki was not in the starting lineup as
part of a night off, according to manager Walt Weiss. ... Washington
RHP Doug Fister (6-2, 2.83) and Colorado LHP Tyler Matzek (1-2,
4.24) are the scheduled starters for the series finale Wednesday.
... Weiss said that LHP Franklin Morales (4-4, 5.75) would start
Thursday at Los Angeles against the Dodgers after RHP Jhoulys Chacin
(right shoulder inflammation) went on the disabled list Monday. The
versatile Morales did not allow a run in his first five outings out
of the bullpen this year. He also has made 11 starts.
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