The ball was flying all over the park on a hot Wednesday afternoon at Coors Field. Neither starter could get into the fifth inning and a grand total of 13 extra-base hits were recorded in the Colorado Rockies 12-10 win over the Washington Nationals.
Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu continued their torrid stretches and claim to being the best one-two punch in the National League. They started things for the Rockies in the first with an opposite-field double and a single, respectively.
At the time, and as it would turn out up until later that inning, LeMahieu had reached in 10 straight plate appearances and gotten a hit in eight straight at-bats.
David Dahl followed LeMahieu up with a walk to load the bases and Nolan Arenado drove in Blackmon to give the Rockies a 1-0 lead. This is usually where the team hits into a double play or in some other way manages to turn a big inning into a small one.
But not this time.
Gerardo Parra promptly unloaded the bases with a double into the right-centerfield gap, driving in three and giving the Rockies a commanding 4-0 early lead against Cy Young candidate Stephen Strasburg.
But the Rockies weren’t done. Daniel Descalso was able to draw a walk and Tony Wolter’s hit the Rockies third double of the inning to drive in another run which you would have thought would have been the end of it. But even pitcher Jon Gray got in on the action, driving a ball to the opposite field for the fourth double of the inning and scoring two more.
When the dust finally settled, the Rockies led 7-0 after only one frame of baseball had been played.
The Rockies added a pair of runs in the bottom of the second on a Parra triple and a Ben Paulsen single, chasing Strasburg from the game and leaving him with the ugly line of 1.2 IP, 9 H, 9 ER, 3 BB, and 3 K.
The Nationals had scratched out two runs in the top of the inning and two more in the top of the fourth, battling through each at-bat and driving up Jon Gray‘s pitch count.
Gray pitched mostly pretty well, but against a good team could only manage four innings. He gave up six hits, four runs, and one walk while striking out three.
Wolters led off the bottom of the fifth with his third home run of the year — a 422-foot no-doubter to extend the Rockies lead to four. Then Ryan Raburn drew a walk and Blackmon was hit by a pitch. LeMahieu singled in Raburn and Blackmon came in on an Arenado sacrifice fly to get the Rockies lead back up to six.
The Nationals wouldn’t go down without a fight, scoring in each of the next three innings on a double from Trea Turner and Pedro Severino‘s first home run of the year. Jayson Werth brought in Turner after he tripled in the eighth on a sac fly to make the game 12-9.
Scott Oberg allowed a pinch-hit home run to Chris Heisey before wrapping up the nearly four-hour long contest, recording his first save of the season. The home run meant that the third inning was the only frame in the game in which neither team scored.
It was one of those days at Coors Field and the Rockies held on just long enough, departing with a 12-10 victory.
By the Numbers
1.2 — Stephen Strasburg pitched just 1.2 innings in this game, only the third time in his career he has failed to pitch at least two innings.
7 – The Rockies scored seven runs in the first inning, the most they have scored in an opening frame since getting eight against the Dodgers on September 17, 2014.
6 – The number of relievers the Rockies used in this game.
5 – The Rockies are five games back of .500.
30 – The Rockies are now an even 30-30 at home in 2016.