Cuddyer extends hitting streak to 21 in Rockies' win

David Driver, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


WASHINGTON -- Michael Cuddyer couldn't ask for a better weekend at the major league stadium closest to his Virginia hometown of Norfolk.
The big league veteran rented out a suite on Friday night at Nationals Park for his son's fifth birthday and then Sunday had three hits, including a home run, and four RBI as the Colorado Rockies beat the Washington Nationals 7-6 and gain a split of the four-game series.
"It is nice. I am helping the team win, giving the guys a shot," said Cuddyer, whose son and wife were also in the stands Sunday. "Being able to contribute is really nice. It has been fun."
Cuddyer, who started in right field, has now hit in a career-high 21 games in a row as the Rockies (39-38) took a 7-0 lead before Washington staged a comeback.
"Balls are falling and I feel like things are going my way," said Cuddyer, whose wife grew up in Arlington, Va., just across the Potomac River from Nationals Park. "I wish I could tell you (the secret) and I would do it all of the time."
"He is one of the best-kept secrets in the game," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said of Cuddyer, who is hitting .339. "He does everything professionally. He is really valuable, in my opinion. He likes to show up, compete and work on his beard."
The Nationals almost ruined the Cuddyer homecoming with four runs in the eighth.
"In the grand scheme of things, we won and that is what matters," Cuddyer said. "Bend but don't break."
"We made it interesting in the end," Weiss said. "We will take the win and move on to Boston."
The Rockies got strong pitching from starter Jorge De La Rosa (8-4), who allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings before Rob Scahill took over in the seventh.
"I used my fastball a lot," De La Rosa said. "I am glad everybody is pitching really good."
Washington (37-38) lost for the fifth time in eight games as starting pitcher Ross Detwiler (2-6) was lifted in the fourth after Nolan Arenado gave the Rockies a 5-0 lead with a leadoff homer.
Later in the inning, Carlos Gonzalez singled to load the bases with two outs and that was the end for Detwiler, who gave up seven runs in 3 2/3 innings.
"We scored six runs. We just feel a little short," Detwiler said.
Craig Stammen took over and allowed a two-run single to Cuddyer to make it 7-0.
Colorado took a 4-0 lead in the third on RBI singles by DJ LeMahieu, Cuddyer and Wilin Rosario.
Cuddyer had given the Rockies a 1-0 lead in the second with a homer to right, his 11th home run of the year. He extended his hitting streak in his first at-bat in all four games of the series.
Washington scored two runs in the fourth on a RBI groundout by Chris Marrero and a sacrifice fly Kurt Suzuki to make it 7-2.
Matt Belisle came on to pitch the eighth for the Rockies and gave up a two-out infield single to Ryan Zimmerman with the bases loaded to score one run. Another run came home to make it 7-4 when shortstop Josh Rutledge booted the hit by Zimmerman.
"He had a tough break," Weiss said of Belisle and the Zimmerman grounder.
The Rockies brought in reliever Rex Brothers to face pinch-hitter Jhonatan Solano, who doubled in two runs to make it 7-6. Brothers struck out Ian Desmond to end the eighth and then retired Washington in the ninth in order for his fourth save.
Steve Lombardozzi had three hits for the Nationals, who were 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position.
NOTES: Washington RF Jayson Werth, who missed Saturday's game with flu-like symptoms, was back in the starting lineup on Sunday. "That is a big boost for our lineup," Johnson said. Werth singled in the fourth and then was lifted for pinch-runner Roger Bernadina. ... Rookie Jeff Kobernus got the start in center for the Nationals over veteran Denard Span. Marrero, with 119 career at-bats at game time, got the start at first as veteran Adam LaRoche was on the bench. "Span is like an Iron Man. He plays every day," said Johnson, who wanted to give Span a day off. ... Cuddyer, a native of the Tidewater region, has the longest hitting streak for the Rockies since Larry Walker hit in 21 games in a row in 1999. Cuddyer has reached base 40 games in a row. ... Arenado hit two homers in the series.