DENVER -- Colorado Rockies players shaken by Juan Nicasio's serious neck injury took a step forward from the scary episode even as they kept the hospitalized rookie pitcher in the back of their minds.
Ty Wigginton and Chris Iannetta each homered in a five-run fourth inning, Jhoulys Chacin won for the first time in seven weeks and the Rockies matched a season-high for runs in a 15-7 win over the Washington Nationals on Saturday night.
"It shows the character of the team," said Dexter Fowler, who drove in a career-high four runs with a triple and single. "We've got to just keep going out and doing it. It's still heavy on everybody's hearts and we're praying for him. Fortunately, he's doing better and we're excited to come back out and play."
The 24-year-old Nicasio was listed in serious but stable condition and was said to resting comfortably after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured vertebra suffered the night before when hit in the head by a line drive. Team officials say Nicasio has movement in his arms and legs and there are no signs of bruising, bleeding or other damage to the spinal cord, encouraging signs toward what doctors hope can be a full recovery.
"It's on everyone's on mind," Chacin said. "It was a really bad feeling for everyone when it happened. But when you go out, you have to concentrate on what you have to do, like everyone did today."
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Troy Tulowitzki went 3 for 3 with two doubles and drove in three runs for the Rockies.
Carlos Gonzalez added a pair of singles, scored twice and drove in a run in his return after spending the previous two weeks on the disabled list with a strained right wrist.
"We're definitely capable of it each and every night. It's a matter of putting it together," Fowler said.
Chacin (9-8) allowed three runs on five hits in five innings, good enough for his first win since June 15. He walked five and struck out four in snapping a four-game losing streak stretching over his previous eight starts.
"Finally," Chacin said. "It's been a long time since the team won a game when I pitched, and I'm happy about that."
Chacin said he was bothered by some cramps in his pitching hand during the outing.
"I was just able to get through five innings," he said. "Fortunately, it was enough."
Livan Hernandez (6-11) gave up a season-high nine runs -- seven earned -- in 3 2/3 innings. He also hurt himself with an errant throw to first base after fielding Eric Young Jr.'s sacrifice bunt, opening the way to the first of four runs in the third inning.
Fowler followed with a two-run triple and Tulowitzki had a sacrifice fly.
"I never make errors like that," Hernandez said. "I got a chance to make [an] out at second base and I didn't throw it. I froze, and I threw the ball and I short-armed it. You know, I never do that."
Wigginton and Iannetta homered around Chris Nelson's popout, Young singled and later scored on a wild pitch and Gonzalez and Tulowitzki hit successive RBI singles to chase Hernandez.
Down 9-3 going into the sixth, the Nationals rallied for four runs off reliever Greg Reynolds on Rick Ankiel's two-run homer, an RBI double by Ryan Zimmerman and the third of four hits by Michael Morse.
But the Rockies rebuilt their lead, starting with Tulowitzki's RBI double in the bottom of the sixth. Young doubled to drive in a run seventh and Fowler added a two-run single.Notes
- The Rockies recalled RHP Reynolds from Triple-A Colorado Springs to take the roster spot of Nicasio, who went on the 15-day disabled list. In another move, the Rockies placed OF Ryan Spilborghs on the DL with a foot injury. Gonzalez was activated from the DL to take his roster spot.
- The seven hits by the Rockies in the fifth inning matched a season high.
- Zimmerman extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a first-inning single. It's the longest hitting streak by a Nationals player since Zimmerman's 16-game run July 27-Aug. 13, 2009.
- The Nationals will try to gain a split of the four-game series against Colorado when they send John Lannan (8-7) to the mound against Aaron Cook (2-6).
- Morse and Iannetta each matched their career high with four hits.
- The 15 runs are the most allowed by the Nationals this season and matched the most runs scored in a game by the Rockies.