DENVER -- Michael Taylor delivered a go-ahead single in the seventh, and Washington tacked on plenty of insurance late, propelling the Nationals to a 15-6 win over Colorado in Tuesday's series opener at Coors Field to end a six-game slide.
"We came out offensively and had a good approach tonight," Nationals manager Matt Williams said. "This ballpark, you never know. Six is never safe, so we stayed on it, kept with it and kept adding runs. So that's a good sign for us."
Taylor's clutch hit came off Rockies reliever Justin Miller and provided the edge in a back-and-forth contest. After Washington jumped ahead in the first, Colorado answered back with four, capped off by Jose Reyes' first homer with the Rockies in the second. But the Nationals plated four runs between the third and the fifth to grab a 6-4 lead and ultimately chase Colorado starter David Hale, who surrendered eight hits and six runs over five innings.
The Rockies pulled even, 6-6, on a fifth-inning RBI double from Nolan Arenado and a sixth-inning solo homer from Kyle Parker, but Colorado's bullpen could not shut the door late.The Nationals scored eight runs over the final two frames.
"It felt good," Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond said. "I think the best part is the fact that we came back. We bounced back, made a couple of mistakes, but we didn't let it hold us down. It was a good sign."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED CarGo, and gone: The Nats have to hate the sight of Carlos Gonzalez. The first-inning homer off winning pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (9-8) -- who gave up six runs (four earned) and nine hits in six innings -- was his fourth in four games against the Nationals this year. But Gonzalez struck out in his next two at-bats, then was pulled after the bottom of the fifth with right knee inflammation. Gonzalez said he felt pain while stopping and changing directions to field Danny Espinosa's fourth-inning double off the foul line.
"I was like, 'I'm a little sore, I'm going to try to stay in the game,' then Walt [Weiss, the manager] took me out and gave me rest," Gonzalez said. More >
Escobar unleashes early:Yunel Escobar entered Tuesday hitting just .219 in the cleanup spot this season, but the Nationals third baseman delivered some early damage. He launched a first-inning, opposite-field homer into the Rockies' bullpen to give Washington a 2-0 lead, and Escobar followed that up with an RBI single in the third. He finished 3-for-4 with four runs and four RBIs, marking his first multi-RBI game since July 17.
Ah, bullpen: Parker's homer in the sixth tied it at 6, before the same old story led to a sad Rockies ending. Three times this homestand, the bullpen ended up with a loss. This time, Miller issued two walks with two out before giving up Taylor's go-ahead single. Rockies relievers would give up nine runs in the final three innings. The Rockies are 1-3 on the homestand, with all the losses coming in relief. More >
Werth it: Along with going 2-for-5 in the leadoff spot, Jayson Werth provided a key outfield assist in the fifth. Reyes led off the inning with a single, but Werth came up throwing as the Rockies shortstop tried to stretch the play into a double. His throw was a little off-line, but second baseman Espinosa corralled it and reached back to tag Reyes in time. The outfield assist -- Werth's third of the season -- loomed large in the inning after Arenado's RBI double. More >
"We just kept on grinding. That's what we've been doing all year. That's what we've done for the last three years here. Cardiac Nats. Bring something back from the dead right there. See what I did there?" -- Desmond
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Rockies pitchers issued 10 walks for a second time this season, eight of which scored. Bryce Harper drew four of those, tying a career high and a franchise record that was last achieved by Ryan Zimmerman on June 1, 2010.
WHAT'S NEXT Nationals:Stephen Strasburg gets the ball for the Nationals on Wednesday. He dominated the Rockies on Aug. 8, yielding just one run over seven frames in picking up his first victory since June 28. First pitch is at 8:40 ET.
Rockies: Lefty Jorge De La Rosa (7-5, 4.75 ERA) has 10 quality starts this season. He hopes to hold down the Nationals on Wednesday at Coors Field at 6:40 p.m. MT.