Nationals continue to struggle, lose again to Rockies

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Nationals continue to struggle, lose again to Rockies

Gonzalez gave the Rockies a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning with his third homer of the season, and hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the sixth. "I didn't like it - they thought they had to do something, but I had to do something too - that's kind of why I went out there".

One week after getting pounded for 10 runs in 3 2/3 innings by Atlanta, starter A.J. Cole attacked the strike zone and held the Braves to two runs on three hits over 5 1/3 innings.

Bettis earned his first quality start of the season, going seven innings and yielding only three hits.

Colorado lefty pitcher Kyle Freeland entered the game with an ERA of 5.56 this season and had struggled in a previous outing against the Nationals past year.

However, the both runs and two of the Rockies five hits came from Carlos Gonzalez. "I'm not anxious about that". He hit a solo home run off Tanner Roark in the fourth inning for his third home run of the year. He batted.294 with 21 homers and 58 RBIs at home, but just.242 with nine homers and 39 RBIs on the road. "It has hurt us", Martinez said of errors in key spots.

After Sunday's finale, the Rockies and Nationals don't meet again until the final series of the season, September 28-30 at Colorado. Martinez said X-rays were negative.

Major League Baseball is a six-month marathon. After San Diego starter Luis Perdomo threw a pitch behind Nolan Arenado's back, Arenado charged the mound and the benches emptied. The pair has appealed. Black, asked if a trip to the disabled was possible, said: "I don't want to say no, but I think it's more likely that he'll play in a game before he'll go on the DL". Murphy had knee surgery in October and did not appear in spring training games in Florida. "I know that", Nationals manager Dave Martinez said after the loss.

Coming in against a red-hot Gio Gonzalez, who came into the game with a 1.59 ERA, there were questions about the offensive output they Rockies would produce sans Charlie Blackmon, who is still day-to-day with a sore leg, leaving LeMahieu to fill the void at the top of the lineup. The 34-year-old hit.267 with 30 home runs, 97 RBIs and 175 strikeouts last year in his second season with the Colorado Rockies, but was a far bigger threat at hitter-friendly Coors Field than on the road.

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