Colorado at Washington

W: J. Marquis (14-8) L: C. Balester (1-3)
S: H. Street (31)
HR: COL - C. Barmes (20), C. Gonzalez (8)   WAS - J. Bard (3)

Rockies 5, Nationals 4 wire reports

WASHINGTON -- Carlos Gonzalez has even amazed himself with his sudden power surge.

Gonzalez lead off the eighth inning with a home run for the second night in a row, giving the Rockies the decisive run in a 5-4 win against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.

Gonzalez has homered in four straight games and six of the last eight. Before this stretch, he had six homers in 130 career games. His latest landed above the Nationals' out-of-town scoreboard in right field to lead off the eighth inning.

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"Yeah, I knew that ball was going to go out," Gonzalez said. "It was a tough pitch. I saw the replay and it was down and away. I was pretty impressed with myself because the pitcher probably did not even know how I hit that ball. It just happened."

The home run gave Colorado a boost after leaving the bases loaded three times in the first six innings.

"We did not do a good job tonight from the standpoint of our situational hitting," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "We left the 1st Battalion stranded out there on the bases."

Even though the Rockies stumbled at times, they kept their NL wild-card lead and improved to a season-high 14 games over .500 with a 67-53 record.

Colorado starter Jason Marquis (14-8) gave up nine hits and three runs over six innings, with one walk and one strikeout.

Gonzalez's home run gave the Rockies a 5-3 lead for closer Huston Street, who came on for his 31st save in 32 attempts. He has now converted a team-record 23 save chances in a row, but his last two have not been easy.

Street gave up three hits Tuesday against the Nationals, and gave up a home run to Josh Bard on his first pitch Wednesday night.

"Sometimes you're going to have to win without your best stuff, and that goes from the pitching end to the hitting end to the fielding end," Marquis said. "Tonight was one of those nights. We escaped with the win, and that's all you can ask for."

The Rockies looked as if they had a chance to take a big lead right from the start as Colin Balester (1-3) struggled with his control.

In his previous 20 career starts, Balester had walked more than three batters only once. Wednesday, he walked the first three batters, and four of the first five. He added an error, throwing an attempted pickoff into center field.

After Balester walked the bases loaded, Troy Tulowitzki hit a two-run double down the left-field line. Brad Hawpe followed with a walk. When Balester got No. 6 hitter Ian Stewart to fly out to left for the first out, the crowd responded with a loud sarcastic cheer.

Balester got out of the inning, but was back in trouble in the second. Marquis led off the inning with a double, and scored on Dexter Fowler's triple. Balester's night ended with a walk to Todd Helton, the fifth he issued. The 1 1/3 innings were the shortest outing of Balester's career.

Balester said his control problems came from working too quickly and speeding up his delivery -- a tendency he's been aware of.

"I've pinpointed it, and now I now need to execute it," Balester said. "I've been trying so hard, and I think that's my biggest problem. I've been trying too much."

Saul Rivera came on to get the last two outs of the inning as the Rockies left the bases loaded for the second time.

Barmes hit his 20th home run of the season in the fifth inning off Rivera to give Colorado a 4-1 lead.

Washington rallied in the fifth. Nyjer Morgan tripled, Cristian Guzman drove him home with a single and Ryan Zimmerman followed with an RBI double, all with two outs. Zimmerman also drove in the Nationals' first run of the night with a triple in the first inning.

Gonzalez's solo home runs have given the Rockies a lift in a pair of one-run wins to start the series against Washington. Now Tracy has one more request for his left fielder.

"You would like to see one of those every once in a while with the bases loaded, but I won't beg," Tracy said.


Nationals RHP Jordan Zimmermann had reconstructive elbow surgery Wednesday morning in California and will travel back to Washington Thursday. He is expected to be out 12 to 18 months. ... Colorado has an eight-game winning streak against the Nationals. ... The Nationals sold 6,000 tickets for $1 apiece for Friday's game in 3 hours Wednesday, part of a promotion tied to an on-field, pregame news conference with newly signed No. 1 draft pick Stephen Strasburg.

Copyright 2017 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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Players of the Game

C. Gonzalez
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 1

R. Zimmerman
AB 3
R 0
H 2
HR 0

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February 17, 2017
NL West Preview: Colorado Rockies (2:26)
Colorado Rockies
Carlos Gonzalez, LF3221101 .289
Dexter Fowler, CF4111111 .270
Todd Helton, 1B1010400 .320
Troy Tulowitzki, SS4012114 .273
Brad Hawpe, RF3010223 .304
Ian Stewart, 3B4000107 .229
Clint Barmes, 2B5121004 .251
Chris Iannetta, C5000026 .221
Jason Marquis, P4110012 .196
    Franklin Morales, P0000000 .400
    Rafael Betancourt, P0000000 .000
    Huston Street, P0000000 .000
2B - Troy Tulowitzki (20, Balester), Brad Hawpe (34, MacDougal), Clint Barmes (26, Rivera), Jason Marquis (3, Balester)
3B - Dexter Fowler (7, Balester)
HR - Carlos Gonzalez (8, Sosa), Clint Barmes (20, Rivera)
RBI - Carlos Gonzalez (18), Dexter Fowler (31), Troy Tulowitzki 2 (65), Clint Barmes (64)
2-OUT RBI - Clint Barmes (24)
CS - Clint Barmes (8, Home by Rivera/Bard)
Team LOB - 12
DP - Tulowitzki-Barmes-Helton
Colorado Rockies
Jason Marquis (W,14-8) 6933110 3.58
Franklin Morales (H,4) 1000110 2.63
Rafael Betancourt (H,13) 1000010 2.68
Huston Street (S,31) 1111001 3.24
IBB - Zimmerman by Franklin Morales
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Marquis 84-56, Franklin Morales 15-7, Rafael Betancourt 9-7, Huston Street 10-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Marquis 13-3, Franklin Morales 1-1, Huston Street 3-0
Batters Faced - Jason Marquis 27, Franklin Morales 4, Rafael Betancourt 3, Huston Street 4
Washington Nationals
Nyjer Morgan, CF4220000 .312
Cristian Guzman, SS4111001 .307
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B3022110 .304
Adam Dunn, 1B3020112 .285
Josh Willingham, LF4000003 .303
Elijah Dukes, RF4000001 .240
Ronnie Belliard, 2B3000001 .226
    Jorge Sosa, P0000000 .000
   a- Willie Harris, PH1000010 .223
    Mike MacDougal, P0000000 .000
Josh Bard, C4121000 .237
Collin Balester, P0000000 .143
    Saul Rivera, P1000001 .000
   b- Jorge Padilla, PH1000000 .125
    Ron Villone, P0000000 .000
    Alberto Gonzalez, 2B2010000 .270
a-struck out for Sosa in the 8th
b-grounded out for Rivera in the 5th
2B - Ryan Zimmerman (27, Marquis)
3B - Nyjer Morgan (7, Marquis), Ryan Zimmerman (2, Marquis)
HR - Josh Bard (3, Street)
SH - Nyjer Morgan (9), Cristian Guzman (4)
RBI - Cristian Guzman (42), Ryan Zimmerman 2 (80), Josh Bard (23)
2-OUT RBI - Cristian Guzman (21), Ryan Zimmerman (22)
SB - Nyjer Morgan (40, 2nd base off Marquis/Iannetta)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Guzman-Belliard-Dunn, Guzman-Gonzalez-Dunn
E - Collin Balester (1, Throwing)
Washington Nationals
Collin Balester (L,1-3) 1.1333510 6.75
Saul Rivera 3.2311231 6.16
Ron Villone 1100220 3.75
Jorge Sosa 2111111 2.70
Mike MacDougal 1100000 3.41
HBP - C. Gonzalez (by Ron Villone)
Pitches-Strikes - Collin Balester 51-24, Saul Rivera 57-40, Ron Villone 39-20, Jorge Sosa 34-21, Mike MacDougal 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Saul Rivera 5-1, Jorge Sosa 1-3, Mike MacDougal 3-0
Batters Faced - Collin Balester 12, Saul Rivera 14, Ron Villone 7, Jorge Sosa 7, Mike MacDougal 4
Game Information
Attendance - 16187
Game Time - 3:11
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Brian Knight, First Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Second Base - Dana DeMuth, Third Base - Doug Eddings