Blackmon, Rox unload in 11th to flatten Nats

Blackmon, Rox unload in 11th to flatten Nats

WASHINGTON -- Charlie Blackmon hammered a pair of home runs, including the go-ahead two-run shot in the 11th to catapult the Rockies to a 9-4 victory over the Nationals on Saturday afternoon in 11 innings at Nationals Park.

Cristhian Adames singled to open the 11th, and Blackmon said he was trying to hit the ball to the right side. He did so, all right, lifting Yusmeiro Petit's 80-mph changeup into the right-field seats for his 23rd homer and fifth multi-homer game this season.

"If you're trying to barrel a ball to the right side, and if you hit it in the air, you're going to be able to hit it hard," said Blackmon, who was in a 2-for-14 rut before homering off A.J. Cole in the third and ending up 3-for-6 with three runs. Blackmon had missed action with a bruised right big toe and slumped upon returning, but he broke out Saturday.

Blackmon crushes two home runs

Carlos Gonzalez also launched a two-run shot in Colorado's five-run 11th for his 200th career home run -- after a 1-for-21 funk on the current road trip -- as the Rockies ended losing streaks at four games overall and seven on the road.

CarGo adds name to list of 200-homer sluggers

CarGo's 200th career home run

The game made it to extra innings after the Nationals scored in the ninth off Rockies closer Adam Ottavino, who had not allowed a run in a club-record 31 1/3 innings, spanning 37 games. Ben Revere drew a one-out walk, then stole second base. Trea Turner nearly drove him in, but he was robbed in center field by a sliding catch from Blackmon. But with two outs, Jayson Werth drove a single into left field to tie the game at 4.

"Boy that was a tough day, tough ending," manager Dusty Baker said. "Almost had a dramatic comeback with Jayson. … So we just have to come back and win the series tomorrow."

It's the second time this week the Nationals have ended a scoreless streak by an opposing closer. They scored a run off Orioles closer Zach Britton on Wednesday to snap his scoreless-appearance stretch at a Major League-record 43 consecutive games.

Ottavino's scoreless streak snapped in ninth

But Washington would not have much success in extras, which began with Bryce Harper being thrown out of the game in the bottom of the 10th for arguing a third strike from Jake McGee, who fanned two in a clean inning for his first Rockies win.

Harper ejected after called third strike

Running out of players: Once Harper got ejected in the 10th, the Nationals had only Chris Heisey left on the bench. It was Harper's second ejection of the season and eighth in his career.

"I know we had a short bench," Harper said. "I think going into it you don't ever want to get ejected, but you don't want an umpire to make a mistake in that big of a situation. That's just not good. I wanted to see that last pitch."

Harper gets tossed

Baker had to already mix and match using his bullpen, which did not have Shawn Kelley or Koda Glover available. The Nats skipper used left-hander Marc Rzepczynski a season-high 2 1/3 innings, pitched Mark Melancon for a third consecutive game and needed Petit to continue pitching even though he did not have his command in the 11th.

The bailout: Blackmon had yet another key play. The Nats grabbed momentum with three runs to tie the game in the fourth, and Turner singled to left-center off Jorge De La Rosa to open the fifth. The speedy Turner tried to make it a double, but Blackmon retrieved the ball and made a spinning throw just in time for second baseman DJ LeMahieu to tag Turner. De La Rosa escaped the inning without allowing a run. He left after the fifth with 112 pitches, eight hits and eight strikeouts, and he took a no-decision.

Blackmon nabs Turner

First home start: Cole made his second start in place of the injured Stephen Strasburg, and he overcame some early troubles to pitch into the sixth inning of his first career start at Nationals Park. He allowed three runs on four hits, with three walks and four strikeouts. Cole was facing his second straight strong lineup after pitching against the Orioles on Monday.

"I pitched in the same ways I did with the [Orioles] lineup," Cole said. "I have a great defense behind me as well. I'm not worried about making certain pitches, because I know they're going to be there. It helps a lot."

Trying to stop it there: With so much bullpen struggles and the Rockies in such a funk, manager Walt Weiss didn't want to risk it with his club leading by a run in the eighth. Carlos Estevez reached 99 mph on his fastball after replacing Boone Logan with one out, but when he walked Wilson Ramos with two down, Weiss pulled Estevez and assigned Ottavino his first career four-out save chance. Ottavino could not convert.

"He hasn't pitched a whole lot," Weiss said. He threw one-third of an inning in [three games] in Milwaukee. He's well-rested, and those are the times I may pick a game to do that. Today was one of those days. I'll take that [chance] every time with Otto in the game."

"It's good to be back in that lineup. Charlie was out for a little bit and I was out. We couldn't get on the same page for a little bit. It's good to have us all back healthy and hitting well." -- LeMahieu, who returned to the lineup after missing three games with left wrist soreness and went 3-for-5 to lift his batting average to .347 (grabbing the National League batting lead from the Nats' Daniel Murphy, who went 2-for-5 and is at .346)

The Rockies' Gerardo Parra drew a sixth-inning walk from Cole, which was Parra's first walk in 102 plate appearances. The Reds' Joey Votto led the Majors with 63 walks in the period between Parra walks. He also walked in the 10th to run his season total to six.

The five runs the Rockies tallied in the 11th were the most they have scored in extra innings since scoring eight in the 10th on June 15, 2012, at Detroit.

Rockies: Righty Chad Bettis (10-7, 5.29 ERA) walked seven in a loss to the Brewers in his last start. He'll go for better in the series finale against the Nats on Sunday at 11:35 a.m. MT.

Nationals: The Nats will call up top prospect Lucas Giolito (0-0, 4.91) to make his fourth career Major League start, but first since July 24, in Sunday's series finale at 1:35 p.m. ET. He has had trouble locating his offspeed pitches during his short career in Washington, but he has pitched well since he was sent back to Triple-A Syracuse.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.