Washington at Colorado

Scoreboard
Washington (54-43) «0004002017130
Colorado (40-59)0000020002102

Nationals 7, Rockies 2

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DENVER -- The Washington Nationals turned their clubhouse into a postgame rave scene, complete with blaring music, fog machine and dancing lights.

A dazzling display -- almost as eye catching as their performance on the field.

Ian Desmond tied a career high with five hits, including a two-run homer, and Doug Fister threw effectively into the sixth to help the Nationals beat the sinking Colorado Rockies 7-2 on Monday night.

They were in quite a festive mood, too, as they took over sole possession in the NL East with Atlanta's loss.

''Anytime we win, it's a great day,'' Fister said as he explained the light show. ''We want to make sure we get that winning feeling.''

The 6-foot-8 Fister (9-2) -- all ''elbows and knees'' as Charlie Blackmon described him -- allowed nine hits before being pulled with two outs in the sixth after running into trouble.

Desmond had four singles - including one off the arm of reliever LaTroy Hawkins in the ninth - to go with his 17th homer of the season.

His approach at the plate is quite simple: ''I just look for the ball and swing as hard as I can.''

The last time Desmond had five hits in a game was Sept. 15, 2011, at the New York Mets.

''Kind of the way it's been going for me lately,'' Desmond said.

Franklin Morales (5-5) didn't pitch all that bad, except for one inning. He surrendered all four of his runs - three earned - in the fourth.

''Other than that, he threw the ball well,'' Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.

Ben Paulsen had two hits and drove in a run in his major league debut for the Rockies, who've lost six straight and fell into a tie with Texas for the worst mark in the majors (40-59).

Fister was cruising along until the sixth when the Rockies rallied for two runs on RBI singles from Nolan Arenado and Paulsen to make it 4-2. With the bases loaded and two outs, Nationals manager Matt Williams summoned Aaron Barrett from the bullpen to face pinch hitter Brandon Barnes. Barrett struck out Barnes with a slider in the dirt.

''That was kind of, in my eyes, the turning point in the game,'' Desmond said.

The Rockies had a little bit of a scare in that inning when Carlos Gonzalez was tagged out trying to slide into third base. He stayed down on the dirt for several minutes, clutching both wrists after jamming them into the ground. Gonzalez had surgery on his left index finger earlier this season and missed more than a month. He stayed in the game, but had a scrape on his right arm.

''I don't know what else can happen this year,'' Gonzalez said.

Washington padded its lead in the seventh on an RBI single from Wilson Ramos. Desmond later scored on a wild pitch.

Colorado was missing several big bats from its lineup as Troy Tulowitzki missed a second straight game with a sore left thigh. Earlier in the day, Justin Morneau was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained neck.

Taking Morneau's place at first was Paulsen, who was called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs. He's the ninth different player to make his debut with the team in 2014.

Paulsen lined a single to left in his first plate appearance. After Fister received the ball on the mound, he tossed it to a bat boy as a keepsake for Paulsen.

Washington finally solved Morales in the fourth, scoring four times. Desmond gave Fister all the run support the right-hander would require with a two-run homer to left.

Danny Espinosa drove in another run with a double and later scored when Morales tried to pick off Fister at first and threw the ball down the right-field line.

Blackmon led off the first with a double, but Fister managed to escape. Fister struck out Gonzalez with a 79-mph changeup to end the inning.

''You know you have to keep the ball down,'' Fister said. ''That's something we focused on a lot tonight.''

Notes

Williams called OF Bryce Harper's day off ''a one-day thing.'' Harper entered as a pinch hitter in the seventh and struck out, then briefly argued with the home-plate umpire over whether he foul tipped the pitch. Williams pulled Harper away. ... RHP Jordan Zimmermann (6-5), who left his last start with a cramp in his right biceps, will start Tuesday. The Rockies will throw LHP Yohan Flande (0-2). ... A woman was hit in the head when the bat slipped out of Gonzalez's hands in the fourth. She was escorted from her seat.

 
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Players of the Game
Washington

I. Desmond
AB 5
R 3
H 5
HR 1
RBI 2
Colorado

B. Paulsen
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 

Related Video

Washington Nationals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVGSLGOBP
Denard Span, CF4010123.278.392.329
Anthony Rendon, 3B5000013.275.468.330
Jayson Werth, RF4020110.285.452.372
Adam LaRoche, 1B4000115.273.443.381
Ryan Zimmerman, LF4210112.286.464.350
Ian Desmond, SS5352000.253.445.302
Wilson Ramos, C5121001.299.409.341
Danny Espinosa, 2B4122102.215.352.284
Doug Fister, P2000002.045.045.045
   Aaron Barrett, P0000000.000.000.000
   a-Bryce Harper, PH1000011.261.403.336
   Jerry Blevins, P0000000.000.000.000
   b-Kevin Frandsen, PH1000001.236.293.291
   Ross Detwiler, P0000000.000.000.500
Totals39713557    
a-struck out for Barrett in the 7th
b-grounded out for Blevins in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jayson Werth (24, Morales), Danny Espinosa (11, Morales)
3B - Danny Espinosa (3, Hawkins)
HR - Ian Desmond (17, Morales)
SH - Doug Fister (8)
RBI - Ian Desmond 2 (62), Wilson Ramos (20), Danny Espinosa 2 (19)
2-OUT RBI - Danny Espinosa (2)
SB - Anthony Rendon (9, 2nd base off Morales/Rosario)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Ryan Zimmerman 1
DP - Rendon-Espinosa-LaRoche
Washington Nationals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Doug Fister (W,9-2) 5.2922240 2.92
Aaron Barrett (H,5) 0.1000010 2.61
Jerry Blevins 2100010 4.84
Ross Detwiler 1000010 3.61
Pitches-Strikes - Doug Fister 85-57, Aaron Barrett 5-4, Jerry Blevins 23-16, Ross Detwiler 10-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Doug Fister 5-6, Jerry Blevins 2-3, Ross Detwiler 1-1
Batters Faced - Doug Fister 26, Aaron Barrett 1, Jerry Blevins 7, Ross Detwiler 3
Colorado Rockies
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVGSLGOBP
Charlie Blackmon, CF5010001.304.476.349
Josh Rutledge, SS4010011.293.457.354
Corey Dickerson, LF4110012.330.570.398
Carlos Gonzalez, RF3010122.250.442.302
Nolan Arenado, 3B4111001.283.447.306
Ben Paulsen, 1B4021000.500.500.500
Wilin Rosario, C4010001.242.411.277
DJ LeMahieu, 2B3010110.277.347.333
Franklin Morales, P2010012.150.150.227
   a-Brandon Barnes, PH1000013.249.392.295
   Tommy Kahnle, P0000000.000.000.000
   LaTroy Hawkins, P0000000.000.000.000
   b-Charlie Culberson, PH1000000.188.305.235
Totals35210227    
a-struck out for Morales in the 6th
b-lined out for Hawkins in the 9th
Batting
2B - Charlie Blackmon (18, Fister), DJ LeMahieu (10, Fister)
RBI - Nolan Arenado (31), Ben Paulsen (1)
2-OUT RBI - Ben Paulsen (1)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Arenado-LeMahieu-Paulsen
E - Franklin Morales 2 (3, Throwing)
Colorado Rockies
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Franklin Morales (L,5-5) 6943431 5.21
Tommy Kahnle 2222130 2.80
LaTroy Hawkins 1211010 2.65
IBB - Espinosa by Franklin Morales
WP - Franklin Morales (3), Tommy Kahnle (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Franklin Morales 95-59, Tommy Kahnle 38-21, LaTroy Hawkins 12-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Franklin Morales 12-3, Tommy Kahnle 3-0, LaTroy Hawkins 2-0
Batters Faced - Franklin Morales 31, Tommy Kahnle 9, LaTroy Hawkins 5
Game Information
Attendance - 33082
Game Time - 3:01
Temperature - 91
Umpires - Home - Chris Conroy, First Base - Jerry Meals, Second Base - Paul Emmel, Third Base - Jordan Baker