The Washington Nationals (20-15) scored two runs in the top of the first inning and never looked back, defeating the host Colorado Rockies (16-18) by the final score of 14-6. Recently promoted reliever Doug Slaten got the win for Nationals in 2/3 of an inning while rookie Jhoulys Chacin took his first loss of the season.
The Nationals’ offensive outburst was led by third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who went 3-5 with two home runs, three runs, and six runs batted in. Zimmerman was not alone in thrashing Colorado pitching – five Nationals notched multi-hit games. Nyjer Morgan, Adam Kennedy, Josh Willingham, and Ian Desmond all had at least two hits, and the latter two drove in two runs apiece. Cristian Guzman also did well in his sole plate appearance with a bases-clearing, three-run pinch hit double. The team was an astounding 8-11 with runners in scoring position, highlighted by a seven run eighth inning which effectively put the game out of reach before the rains forced a premature conclusion.
Lost in the success of the offense was the continuing struggle John Lannan has faced this season. In his first appearance since missing a start with a sore left elbow, Lannan surrendered four runs on six hits on 91 pitches in only 4.2 innings. The Nationals’ nominal ace has allowed at least four earned runs in four of his seven starts this season and has thrown more than six innings just once. Fortunately, on this night, the offense was able to compensate for another subpar outing from its starting pitcher.