Nationals 3, Rockies 0
WASHINGTON (AP)—Mike Bacsik soaked up the standing ovation as he strode off the field. It had been a while since he had been cheered like this.
Bacsik (3-6) was 1-6 in his last nine starts but tamed the Rockies by holding them to only one hit after the first inning. He pitched 6 2-3 innings, striking out one and walking three for his second win since May 24.
“It was a fun day,” Bacsik said with a wide smile.
As the afternoon shadows crept out in front of home plate and affected hitters, Nationals manager Manny Acta felt more and more comfortable with the lead.
“If you’ve got a good bullpen, you’ve got a pretty good chance of nailing it down,” Acta said.
Lopez spoiled a solid performance by Colorado starter Rodrigo Lopez.
With one out in the sixth, Felipe Lopez hit a 3-2, two-seam fastball over the 380-feet marker on the right-field fence for his fifth homer of the season. Lopez last homered on July 8 to end a homerless streak of 152 at-bats.
Rodrigo Lopez (5-3) has been brilliant at Coors Field this season (5-0, 3.55 ERA) but has struggled on the road, where he is 0-3.
He retired 14 of the first 15 batters he faced, but Washington eventually broke through. Lopez went six innings, surrendered five hits, one walk and struck out three.
“I don’t know what it is about it,” Lopez said of his road woes. “We’ve got the home-field advantage when we’re at home, but I’m not trying to see it that way. I try to go out there and pitch my game and try to win every time I go out there. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to win on the road.”
The Rockies’ offense didn’t help his cause and slumped to 0-for-16 in the series with runners in scoring position.
Lopez gave up a leadoff double to Ryan Church in the seventh before walking Austin Kearns. After a sacrifice bunt by D’Angelo Jimenez, a groundout by Brian Schneider and intentional walk to pinch-hitter Dmitri Young, Batista drove in Church and Kearns with a groundball through the left side that made the score 3-0.
“I was just looking for my pitch—an inside pitch—and try to hit it hard,” Batista said. “And luckily it happened.”
Bacsik gave up two hits to start the game but got out of trouble thanks to a double play and flyout.
“There were some good pitches in some key situations,” Bacsik said. “I didn’t throw the ball great today. I got behind on some hitters, but I was able to battle and make pitches when I had to behind in the count.” ^Notes: Washington has scored three or fewer runs in 33 of 97 (34 percent) games this season. The Nationals are 3-30 in those games. … Nationals 3B Ryan Zimmerman has hit safely in 16 of his last 18 games. … Colorado CF Willy Taveras led off the game with his major league-leading 30th bunt single.