DENVER | Good luck navigating through the top five of Washington’s lineup these days.
It’s definitely a pick-your-poison sort of situation.
Trea Turner nearly hit for the cycle for a second straight night, finishing a triple shy, and Bryce Harper had four more hits to run his average to .432 as the Nationals beat the Colorado Rockies 11-4 on Wednesday.
In all, the combination of Adam Eaton, Turner, Harper, Ryan Zimmerman and Daniel Murphy went 13 of 24 with three homers and all 11 RBIs to help the Nationals improve to 8-1 on their 10-game trip.
Now that’s production.
“We have power and most of them are swinging pretty good right now,” Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. “We get greedy. We smell kind of blood in the water and they jump on it. This is what we preach all the time.”
Tanner Roark (3-0) worked his way out of several jams to throw five solid innings. He allowed two runs and struck out four.
Never quite settling in on a cool night, Tyler Chatwood (2-3) surrendered five runs in five innings.
“My misses are bad right now,” Chatwood said. “That’s the big thing that’s hurting me.”
Turner followed his cycle the night before with a solo shot in the fifth, a single in the seventh and a double in the eighth. He didn’t get up again in the game to try for the triple.
“He’s going to have a lot of cycles in his career. That’s just who he is and type of player he is,” Harper said. “He has a good chance to do that on any given night. If he played here, he’d probably do it a lot more.”
Zimmerman had a two-run shot in the fifth and Murphy added a three-run homer in the seventh that turned the game into a rout. Harper kept up his torrid pace at the plate with four hard hits, including a double. It was his third four-hit game this season.
“As you know, their top five guys, right now, presently, are swinging it,” said Rockies manager Bud Black, whose team committed a season-high three errors. “Very, very formidable.”
Roark ran into trouble in the fifth when the Rockies loaded the bases. He walked DJ LeMahieu to force in a run and gave up another run on Nolan Arenado’s fielder’s choice. With two outs and two on, Roark struck out Carlos Gonzalez with a 77-mph curve. Gonzalez broke his bat on the ground in frustration.
For the second straight night, a two-out walk in the second inning to the pitcher came back to haunt the Rockies. After Chatwood missed on a 3-2 fastball to Roark, Eaton followed with a two-run single.
“That’s embarrassing,” Chatwood said of walking Roark after an 0-2 count.
On Tuesday, German Marquez issued a two-out walk that turned into a five-run frame in a game the Nationals won 15-12. They have taken two of three in the four-game series with Colorado.
Nationals: Reliever Koda Glover was placed on the disabled list with a left hip impingement. He’s 0-1 with two saves in 11 relief appearances. … The Nationals recalled LHP Matt Grace from Triple-A Syracuse to step in for Glover.
Rockies: OF David Dahl (ribs) will take batting practice in the next day or two. He’s hoping to get in some at-bats during extended spring training in Arizona next week. “I feel good,” Dahl said. “Really good. No problems.”
Umpires: Home plate umpire Marty Foster took a foul tip off the mask in the third and was checked on by Colorado’s trainer along with crew chief Mike Winters. Foster stayed in the game.
Rockies OF Charlie Blackmon extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single in the third. … Gonzalez became the sixth player to suit up in 1,000 games for the Rockies. … Roark surpassed the 600 career innings mark Wednesday.
The Rockies will be without one of their most reliable relievers after LHP Mike Dunn went on the 10-day disabled list due to back spasms. Dunn is 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA in 10 appearances.
To take his place, the Rockies reinstated RHP Chad Qualls (forearm tightness) from the DL.
Nationals LHP Gio Gonzalez (2-0, 1.35) will throw Thursday. The Rockies counter with RHP Antonio Senzatela (3-0, 2.08), who’s 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA at Coors Field this season.
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