Nats hope Sanchez can continue Coors success

Field Level Media

Veteran right-hander Anibal Sanchez has been pitching in the majors since 2006, but Washington's veteran right-hander will make just his third career start at Coors Field on Wednesday afternoon in the series finale between the Nationals and Rockies.

Sanchez (0-2, 4.91) will be opposed by Rockies right-hander German Marquez (2-1, 2.25), who dealt with an infected tooth when he made his previous start Friday against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Sanchez pitched in the National League from 2006-12 with Miami and then last season with the Atlanta Braves. He somehow managed to avoid Coors Field several times, which is something many pitchers are happy to do.

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In his previous start this start, on Friday at Miami, Sanchez pitched well (three runs, five hits, four walks, six strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings), but took the loss as the Marlins took advantage of some Washington fielding woes for a 3-2 win.

"I think that situation in the last inning," Sanchez told reporters after the game of the sixth inning, "just giving up a walk with the bases loaded is something that I don't like it. I'd rather fight with the hitter instead of give up a walk, but it's part of the game. Things can happen. They took really good at bats against me and I think they did everything enough to win, and that's what happened."

After losing the opener 7-5, the Nationals evened the series Tuesday with a 6-3 victory as the Washington bullpen did not give up a run in three innings. The Nationals entered Tuesday with the worst bullpen ERA in the league at 7.34, but the relievers responded at Coors Field before Washington added two key insurance runs in the top of the ninth.

"This team is going to battle," Nationals outfielder Adam Eaton told Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) after the game. "We are going to battle day in and day out. We are going to grind out at-bats."

Signed as a free agent by the Nationals, Sanchez has had good success -- home and away -- against the Rockies. Overall he is 4-1 with a 2.28 ERA in seven starts against the Rockies with a 3.46 ERA in two starts in Denver.

Rockies outfielder Ian Desmond, a former Nationals shortstop, is 9-for-36 in his career against Sanchez, with most of those at-bats coming when Sanchez pitched for the Marlins.

Trevor Story of the Rockies is 2-for-5 with two homers off Sanchez while third baseman Nolan Arenado, who got his 1,000 career hit Monday, is 3-for-8.

Marquez, who recently got a contract extension from the Rockies, is 1-1 with an 8.18 ERA against the Nationals in two career starts.

Current Washington hitters are 7-for-32 (.219) with no homers off Marquez. The player on the active roster with the most at-bats against him is third baseman Anthony Rendon, who is hitless in six at-bats.

Rendon did not start or play again Tuesday after getting hit by a pitch on the left arm Saturday in Miami. He has not started the past three games.

Marquez had his sore tooth removed after the last start, according to mlb.com. He didn't tell manager Bud Black because he wanted to pitch.

"I took a lot of medication last night to try to get me through, but I couldn't sleep," Marquez told reporters Friday, via a translator. "I did what I could. I didn't want to tell him because I wanted to pitch."

--Field Level Media

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