Nationals start important homestand with Rockies

Field Level Media

After failing to make up any ground with National League East-leading Atlanta thanks to a split of their four-game series with the Braves, the Washington Nationals head home to begin a 10-game homestand against the Colorado Rockies on Monday night.

Right-hander Erick Fedde (1-1, 3.50 ERA) will make his eighth start of the season for the Nationals and will be opposed by 22-year-old right-hander Peter Lambert (2-1, 6.06) in the first of a four-game series with the Rockies. Washington will also host the Los Angeles Dodgers for three games and then finish the homestand with another key three-game series with the Braves.

It will be the third career start against Colorado for Fedde, who brings in an 0-2 career mark and 12.38 ERA against the Rockies. The former first-round pick from UNLV pitched well in his last start on Wednesday at Baltimore, allowing one run on five hits and no walks in six innings of an eventual 9-2 loss to the Orioles.

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Lambert will be making his first career appearance against the Nats and eighth career start for Colorado. He is winless in his last five starts but comes in off a solid performance against the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday, during which he allowed two runs on six hits and no walks in an eventual 8-4 loss.

The Nationals will enter Monday night's contest with a 1 1/2-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers for the first wild-card spot in the National League but remain 6 1/2 games behind Atlanta in the NL East and one game ahead of third-place Philadelphia.

Washington missed a chance to cut into the Braves' lead over the weekend, dropping the finale of the four-game set, 7-1, on Sunday night.

That defeat featured the first loss by a Nats starting pitcher in 28 games as Joe Ross -- summoned from Triple-A Fresno to replace injured Austin Voth (right bicep tendinitis) -- gave up three runs in 5 1/3 innings. The 27-game streak without a loss by a starting pitcher, which began after a June 15 loss to the Diamondbacks, matched the longest in MLB history set by the 1916 New York Giants. Washington starters were 16-0 with a 2.55 ERA during that span.

The only statistic that mattered to the Nationals after Sunday night's loss, however, was the 6 1/2 games that they still trail the Braves.

"You were hoping to make up a couple of games," manager Dave Martinez told the Washington Post. "And we didn't do that."

Colorado arrives in D.C. in a tie for last place with the San Diego Padres in the NL West, 18 1/2 games behind the Dodgers.

The Rockies snapped a six-game losing streak by salvaging the final game of a three-game series with the Yankees on Sunday, 8-4. Right fielder Charlie Blackmon led off the game with his 21st home run of the season and became the first Colorado player in history to record a four-hit game at Yankee Stadium.

The Rockies also got a big game from starting pitcher German Marquez, who allowed just two runs on three hits over seven innings. Marquez had allowed a career-high 11 runs on 11 hits in 2 2/3 innings in a 19-2 loss to San Francisco in his previous start.

"We had a really good team win today, and Marquez had a great game," catcher Tony Wolters told the Denver Post. "He was in control the whole way."

--Field Level Media

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