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Colorado at Washington

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Washington «02000002x4100

Patterson fires eight scoreless innings in Nationals win

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- John Patterson's red cap was soaked on a muggy, 87-degree night. His right hand was too wet with sweat to throw his curveball.

So he stuck mainly to his fastball and did exactly what he and the struggling Washington Nationals so desperately needed: He threw a gem to earn a win.

Making do with what support a revamped lineup provided, Patterson allowed just three hits and worked into the ninth inning Tuesday night, leading Washington past the Colorado Rockies 4-0, just the fourth victory in 13 games for the NL East leader.

The right-hander's previous five starts were all no-decisions, even though his ERA was 2.97 in that span.

"I didn't come into the day thinking about a win for me," Patterson said. "We needed a win as a team."

He delivered, and in the process looked very much like what Nationals general manager Jim Bowden called him Monday: a No. 1 pitcher.

"Patterson set the tone," manager Frank Robinson said. "I knew he was on top of his game tonight when he started out throwing strikes."

Patterson (4-2) began 21 of 29 batters with strikes and had stretches where he retired 10 consecutive and nine in a row. He left to a standing ovation after giving up a leadoff single in the ninth to Aaron Miles on his 108th pitch.

"He attacked the zone," said Miles, who stretched his hitting streak to a career-best 14 games. "He is tough to hit, you can say that much."

Mike Stanton gave up a single to his only batter, and Chad Cordero recorded three outs for his major league-high 33rd save.

Patterson only was in trouble once -- in the fifth inning, when both of his walks came. The second was given to opposing starter Shawn Chacon (1-6), and it loaded the bases with two outs. But Patterson whiffed Cory Sullivan swinging on a 91 mph fastball, one of his eight strikeouts.

"I kept us in it," said Chacon, the subject of trade rumors. "It is one of those games where you have to throw a shutout to win."

He gave up two runs and seven hits in seven innings.

A day after a 5-4 loss to the Rockies, the team with NL's worst record, Robinson shook up his lineup, sitting slumping shortstop Cristian Guzman and hobbled third baseman Vinny Castilla. In addition, only two position players were in spots in the batting order they already had occupied this season.

The results were modest. The Nationals scored twice off Chacon in the second and twice off former teammate Zach Day in the eighth. Washington has scored more than four runs only twice in its last 13 games.

But, as Jose Vidro put it: "Sometimes lineup changes put different thoughts in people's minds."

Jamey Carroll, starting for Guzman, went 2-for-4 and played flawlessly in the field. Carlos Baerga took over at third for Castilla, who has left knee tendinitis, and had a single.

In the second, Preston Wilson walked -- his fourth free pass in a row over two nights against his former team -- and charged home from first on Ryan Church's double. Two outs later, Carroll's single to center scored Church to make it 2-0.

In the eighth, Day faced four batters and didn't get an out, with Brian Schneider and Wilson getting RBI singles. There could have been more, but pinch-runner Guzman was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.

"I'm not going to say it paid off," Schneider said, referring to the lineup overhaul, "but maybe it got some guys' attention."

Patterson, who last won June 10 despite pitching well, might soon be earning more national notice himself.

He lowered his season ERA to 2.69, and he's now gone at least five innings in 16 of his 17 starts.

"He's got No. 1, No. 2 stuff. He's getting more and more confident each and every outing," said first baseman Brad Wilkerson, who helped out with two nice defensive plays. "He went after the guys tonight and that's fun to play behind."

Notes

  • Wilkerson leaned over a railing in foul territory to grab a popup in the second inning and made a diving catch of a fair pop in the eighth.
  • Schneider was hit twice by Chacon.
  • Rockies OF Matt Holliday was activated from the 15-day DL, started in left field and batted sixth. He went 0-for-4.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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John Patterson proves GM Jim Bowden's 'No. 1 pitcher' remark to be true with his performance.  (AP)
John Patterson proves GM Jim Bowden's 'No. 1 pitcher' remark to be true with his performance. (AP)

Players of the Game
Washington

J. Carroll
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
Washington

J. Patterson
IP 8.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 2
K 8
 
Colorado Rockies
Cory Sullivan, CF4000013 .281
Aaron Miles, 2B4010010 .290
Todd Helton, 1B4010000 .290
Eric Byrnes, RF4010012 .268
Garrett Atkins, 3B3000113 .287
Matt Holliday, LF4000024 .285
Luis Gonzalez, SS3010001 .289
Danny Ardoin, C2000002 .200
   a- Eddy Garabito, PH1000010 .321
    J.D. Closser, C0000000 .207
Shawn Chacon, P1000110 .167
   b- Jorge Piedra, PH1000010 .302
    Zach Day, P0000000 .125
    David Cortes, P0000000 .000
Totals310402915 
a-struck out for Ardoin in the 8th
b-struck out for Chacon in the 8th
Fielding
DP - Atkins-Miles-Helton, Miles-Gonzalez-Helton, Helton-Ardoin, Miles-Gonzalez-Helton
PB - J.D. Closser (2)
E - Eric Byrnes (3, Wild throw)
Colorado Rockies
Shawn Chacon (L,1-6) 7722250 4.11
Zach Day0322100 7.05
David Cortes 1000000 5.06
HBP - Schneider (by Shawn Chacon), Schneider (by Shawn Chacon)
Pitches-Strikes - Shawn Chacon 95-55, Zach Day 15-7, David Cortes 7-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Shawn Chacon 9-4, David Cortes 2-0
Batters Faced - Shawn Chacon 29, Zach Day 4, David Cortes 2
Washington Nationals
Jamey Carroll, SS-3B4021010 .251
Jose Vidro, 2B3000103 .280
Brad Wilkerson, 1B3120100 .264
Jose Guillen, RF4120003 .305
Brian Schneider, C2011012 .283
Preston Wilson, CF3111112 .265
Ryan Church, LF4111002 .311
    Marlon Byrd, LF0000000 .253
Carlos Baerga, 3B3010011 .271
    Cristian Guzman, PR-SS1000001 .189
John Patterson, P2000011 .037
    Mike Stanton, P0000000 .000
    Chad Cordero, P0000000 .000
Totals2941043515 
Batting
2B - Jose Guillen (20, Chacon), Ryan Church (11, Chacon)
SH - John Patterson (5)
RBI - Jamey Carroll (14), Brian Schneider (27), Preston Wilson (51), Ryan Church (32)
2-OUT RBI - Jamey Carroll (7)
Team LOB - 7
Washington Nationals
John Patterson (W,4-2) 8300280 2.69
Mike Stanton0100000 6.60
Chad Cordero (S,33) 1000010 1.07
Pitches-Strikes - John Patterson 108-75, Mike Stanton 1-1, Chad Cordero 7-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Patterson 7-9, Chad Cordero 1-1
Batters Faced - John Patterson 29, Mike Stanton 1, Chad Cordero 3
Game Information
Attendance - 30655
Game Time - 2:29
Temperature - 87
Umpires - Home - Larry Poncino, First Base - Tom Hallion, Second Base - Paul Nauert, Third Base - Mark Wegner