Chad Bettis impressed and DJ LeMahieu recorded his 10th career four-hit game to carry the load as the Colorado Rockies bested the Washington Nationals in Nationals Park Thursday night, the first game in a four-game series and seven-game road trip.
The Rockies had a tall order as they tried to return to .500 on the season, against the heavy National League favorites led by the streaking Bryce Harper.
Coming in against a red-hot Gio Gonzalez, who came into the game with a 1.59 ERA, there were questions about the offensive output they Rockies would produce sans Charlie Blackmon, who is still day-to-day with a sore leg, leaving LeMahieu to fill the void at the top of the lineup.
The second baseman who is known—and often either loved or hated—for being a “singles hitter” began the contest with an impression of his good friend who has now missed four of the last five games.
And he wasn’t done there. It was just the beginning of his second consecutive three-hit game and he would homer twice and drive in four runs.
Bettis earned his first quality start of the season, going seven innings and yielding only three hits. The only run to score on him came on a solo home run by Howie Kendrick, who otherwise went hitless against the 28-year-old. Bettis notched 5 strikeouts, including two of Harper, who came into the game reaching base 50 percent of the time, but o’fered tonight.
It was arguably the best start of the season for Colorado.