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Colorado (68-53) «000020020460
Washington (43-78)000001000142

Rockies keep rolling, complete sweep of Nationals

CBSSports.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- Carlos Gonzalez appeared to be out on a caught foul tip, ending Colorado's half of the fifth inning in a scoreless game Thursday night.

At least that's what the home-plate umpire thought. That's what Washington starter Garrett Mock thought, too. So did his teammates, who started jogging off the field.

Second-base umpire Doug Eddings saw things differently. Eddings realized that Gonzalez's bat touched the ball, which then skipped off the dirt before landing in Nationals catcher Josh Bard's glove. As replays showed, it was merely an innocent foul ball, not a third out.

Given a chance to stay at the plate, Gonzalez blooped an RBI double down the left-field line that sent the Rockies on their way to a 4-1 victory, completing a three-game sweep.

"I don't know how Dougie saw that play out there," Nationals center fielder Nyjer Morgan said. "I guess he was eating his carrots today."

  Nats give nod to Rizzo | Strasburg to get big welcome Friday

Gonzalez's club record-tying streak of four games with a home run ended, but he again came through for the NL wild-card leaders. Troy Tulowitzki and Brad Hawpe also drove in runs to back a strong performance by Jason Hammel (8-7), who allowed one run and three hits in seven innings.

Huston Street worked a perfect ninth for his 32nd save in 33 chances, including every game this series.

Colorado has won four consecutive games and eight of 11. The Rockies entered the day 3½ games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West.

"Why should our sights only be set on the wild card? Play, and see what happens," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "Let's go for the division."

It's been a far more successful week off the field than on it for last-place Washington, which promoted acting general manager Mike Rizzo to the full-fledged GM job Thursday. The club also signed No. 1 overall draft pick Stephen Strasburg on Monday, and plans to introduce the hard-throwing right-hander to its fans at Nationals Park on Friday.

Seeing Gonzalez play so well this series -- he homered Tuesday and Wednesday -- must have been bittersweet for Rizzo: He spoke Thursday about scouting Gonzalez in a cow-filled field in Venezuela while working for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Indeed, Rizzo, Gonzalez and Mock all were part of the Diamondbacks organization in the past. The Rockies had two runners on base with two outs in the fifth when Mock (2-5) and Gonzalez squared off against each other on this night.

Mock appeared to get out of trouble when Gonzalez swung at a pitch and the ball wound up in Bard's mitt. But Tracy questioned the call, and after Eddings weighed in, Gonzalez was sent back to the batter's box. On Mock's next pitch, Gonzalez arched a ball barely beyond the outstretched glove of Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who was running in the outfield grass, his back to the infield.

"When I got to second base, I asked the umpire," Gonzalez related, "and he said he could see the mark in the dirt."

That made it 1-0, and Colorado doubled its lead when Mock threw a wild pitch to the next hitter.

"I think the umpire made the right call," Mock said. "But regardless of whether he makes the right call or the wrong call, that's not for me to argue or get rattled about."

After Washington pulled within 2-1 on Adam Dunn's RBI double, the Rockies added to their lead with two runs off reliever Jason Bergmann in the eighth.

The Nationals finally got to Hammel in the fourth, loading the bases on two singles and a walk -- yet they came away with zero runs. That's because, with two outs, Elijah Dukes hit a sharp grounder that third baseman Ian Stewart made a nice diving stop to grab. Then, seated in the dirt, Stewart threw to second to force out Josh Willingham.

"We pitched like crazy," Tracy said, "and we defended -- especially at third base."

Notes

  • Hammel retired the first 11 batters he faced; Mock started with 10 consecutive outs.
  • Nationals LHP Sean Burnett made a nice play to get Gonzalez out on a bunt leading off the eighth, hopping off the mound and scooping an underhand toss while lunging head-first.
  • Mock recorded eight of the season-high 13 strikeouts for Nationals pitchers.
 
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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Jason Hammel pitches seven solid innings and wins for the third time in his past four starts.  (AP)
Jason Hammel pitches seven solid innings and wins for the third time in his past four starts. (AP)

Players of the Game
Colorado

J. Hammel
IP 7.0
H 3
ER 1
BB 2
K 3
Washington

A. Dunn
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Colorado Rockies
Carlos Gonzalez, CF4011010 .288
Ryan Spilborghs, LF4010011 .253
Todd Helton, 1B4110001 .319
Troy Tulowitzki, SS3111100 .274
Brad Hawpe, RF4011032 .304
Ian Stewart, 3B4000041 .226
Clint Barmes, 2B3100110 .249
Yorvit Torrealba, C4110000 .252
Jason Hammel, P3000033 .111
    Rafael Betancourt, P0000000 .000
   a- Garrett Atkins, PH1000000 .226
    Huston Street, P0000000 .000
Totals34463213  
a-flied out for Betancourt in the 9th
Batting
2B - Carlos Gonzalez (10, Mock), Troy Tulowitzki (21, Bergmann)
RBI - Carlos Gonzalez (19), Troy Tulowitzki (66), Brad Hawpe (73)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Gonzalez (4), Troy Tulowitzki (14), Brad Hawpe (38)
Team LOB - 5
Colorado Rockies
Jason Hammel (W,8-7) 7311230 4.54
Rafael Betancourt (H,14) 1100030 2.61
Huston Street (S,32) 1000010 3.18
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Hammel 85-51, Rafael Betancourt 17-13, Huston Street 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Hammel 12-6, Huston Street 1-1
Batters Faced - Jason Hammel 26, Rafael Betancourt 4, Huston Street 3
Washington Nationals
Nyjer Morgan, CF3000110 .310
Cristian Guzman, SS4110001 .307
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B3000122 .302
Adam Dunn, 1B4021010 .287
Josh Willingham, LF4010011 .303
Elijah Dukes, RF4000013 .236
Josh Bard, C3000000 .234
Alberto Gonzalez, 2B3000000 .266
    Tyler Clippard, P0000000 .000
Garrett Mock, P1000000 .083
   a- Jorge Padilla, PH1000000 .111
    Sean Burnett, P0000000 .000
    Jason Bergmann, P0000000 .000
    Willie Harris, 2B1000010 .222
Totals3114127  
a-grounded out for Mock in the 5th
Batting
2B - Adam Dunn (26, Hammel)
RBI - Adam Dunn (87)
2-OUT RBI - Adam Dunn (24)
SB - Cristian Guzman (4, 2nd base off Hammel/Torrealba)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
E - Elijah Dukes (5, Misplayed grounder), Cristian Guzman (15, Throwing)
Washington Nationals
Garrett Mock (L,2-5) 5322280 5.10
Sean Burnett 2.1000030 3.08
Jason Bergmann 0.1222000 4.86
Tyler Clippard 1.1100020 2.56
WP - Garrett Mock (7)
Pitches-Strikes - Garrett Mock 91-56, Sean Burnett 35-23, Jason Bergmann 18-10, Tyler Clippard 21-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Garrett Mock 3-4, Sean Burnett 5-0, Jason Bergmann 1-0, Tyler Clippard 1-1
Batters Faced - Garrett Mock 20, Sean Burnett 8, Jason Bergmann 3, Tyler Clippard 5
Game Information
Attendance - 18036
Game Time - 2:50
Temperature - 89
Umpires - Home - Hunter Wendelstedt, First Base - Dana DeMuth, Second Base - Doug Eddings, Third Base - Brian Knight