Charlie Blackmon hit a two-run homer in the seventh, Colorado’s lights-out bullpen threw three-plus scoreless innings and the Rockies beat Washington 8-4 on Monday night, ending the Nationals’ seven-game winning streak.
Trailing 4-3, Blackmon lined a hanging slider from lefty Enny Romero (1-1) into the right-field stands. It was Blackmon’s sixth homer of the season and followed a pinch-hit double from Pat Valaika — his first hit of the season.
The Rockies’ relievers came through once again after starter Tyler Anderson wore down. Carlos Estevez (2-0) got four outs and Adam Ottavino threw an effective eighth. Greg Holland pitched the ninth in a non-save situation after the Rockies added three insurance runs in the eighth. He got pinch-hitter Bryce Harper to ground out to end the game.
The Rockies’ bullpen is now 6-0 with a 2.62 ERA, which is tops in the NL.
Facing their first lefty starter of the season, the Nationals struggled early against Anderson, who features a quirky leg kick. They finally solved Anderson in the sixth, with Ryan Zimmerman providing the big blow — a two-run homer to center as part of a four-run inning.
Washington arrived in Denver around 4:30 a.m. after sweeping the Mets in New York on Sunday. Harper and Matt Wieters both got the night off.
Spot starter Jacob Turner was cruising along until the bottom of the sixth, when he surrendered a two-run homer to Mark Reynolds. Turner was called up from Triple-A Syracuse before the game. The Nationals juggled around their rotation with Stephen Strasburg going on the paternity list.
At 14-6, the Rockies are off to one of their best starts in franchise history. It may only be April, but they viewed this four-game series against the Nationals as a mini measuring stick.
“Why not?” Nolan Arenado said. “I don’t know if I can sit here and say it’s a big series. But we have to take care of business at home, no matter who it is. It could be them or the worst team in the league.”