Manager Frank Robinson is hoping a revamped lineup will help his team shake a frustrating slump.
A day after a 5-4 loss to the Rockies that Robinson called his team’s worst of the season, Washington’s manger shook up his lineup, sitting slumping shortstop Cristian Guzman and hobbled third baseman Vinny Castilla and leaving just two of his position players in spots in the batting order they already had occupied this season. The Nationals responded with a 4-0 win over Colorado on Tuesday.
“I’m not going to say it paid off,” Washington’s Brian Schneider said, “but maybe it got some guys’ attention.”
The Nationals, who have scored more than four runs only twice in their last 13 games, averaged just 3.3 runs while losing nine of its previous 12 heading into Tuesday’s game.
“It’s not a threat. It’s just unacceptable. We can’t continue to play like that. If we do, we’ll put somebody else out there,” Robinson said before the game. “Let’s stop that right now. Let’s not make that the norm.”
John Patterson allowed just three hits in eight innings, and Jamey Carroll, starting for Guzman, went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Carlos Baerga took over at third for Castilla, who has left knee tendinitis, and had a single.
Guzman, who is 0-for-15 since the All-Star break, dropping his average to .190, and Castilla will get several days off.
Hernandez, who is tied with Houston’s Roy Oswalt for third in the NL with 12 wins, allowed three runs and nine hits in eight innings of the Nationals’ 10-inning, 4-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday. The Cuban right-hander won 11 straight decisions before losing 5-3 to the New York Mets on July 6.
The Rockies activated outfielder Matt Holliday from the 15-day disabled list Tuesday. Holliday, who missed 33 games with a broken right pinkie finger, started in left field and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.