Hoffman goes 6 innings, Rockies lose to Nationals 8-5
WASHINGTON (AP) — Colorado rookie pitcher Jeff Hoffman will never be accused of easing his way into the major leagues.
After a rough debut last Saturday against the Chicago Cubs, Hoffman showed progress on Friday night, keeping the Rockies close during his six innings before the Washington Nationals scored four runs in the seventh and held on for an 8-5 victory.
After allowing seven runs — six earned — in four innings against the NL Central-leading Cubs, Hoffman (0-2) allowed four runs — three earned — against Washington, the first-place team in the NL East.
“He gave up some runs early and really fought to get through six. Putting down that sixth inning I think was a nice step for him,” manager Walt Weiss said. “He’s got a good arm. I like what I see from him the second time out here.”
Jayson Werth and Daniel Murphy hit solo homers and drove in two runs each, and Gio Gonzalez earned his 100th career victory for Washington.
Next up for the 23-year-old Hoffman: the Los Angeles Dodgers, who sit atop the NL West.
“I feel really grateful for the opportunity,” said Hoffman, who was acquired from the Blue Jays in the trade for Troy Tulowitzki. “I feel like they pulled me up at a good time to test me and to test our team.”
Hoffman allowed six hits and four walks, while striking out three.
“If I could take one thing away, I think I did a decent job of limiting all the damage,” he said. “I got out of that bases loaded with no outs (in the fourth) with only one run, so I thought I did a decent job there.”
Gonzalez (9-9) threw six innings and allowed two runs and four hits with one walk and five strikeouts.
Closer Mark Melancon retired Christhian Adames for the final out for his 37th save. Melancon entered the game shortly after Nick Hundley hit a three-run homer off Shawn Kelley to pull the Rockies within three.
Colorado’s Ryan Raburn was 2 for 2 with a double and two runs scored, while Hundley was 3 for 4 with his seventh homer and four RBIs.
Murphy gave the Nationals a 4-2 lead in the fifth with his team-leading 25th homer. The solo blast gave the Nationals second baseman 500 career RBIs.
Nationals rookie Trea Turner led off multiple innings with an infield single and his speed caused the Rockies to commit three errors. Turner stole his 16th base and scored two runs.
The Nationals blew the game open with a four-run seventh off reliever Matt Carasiti, highlighted by a two-run triple by Bryce Harper.
“Hasn’t been in great counts,” Weiss said of Carasiti, who saw his ERA climb to 12.27. “Not commanding his fastball, and falling behind hitters.”
WELCOME TO THE SHOW:
The Rockies recalled INF Stephen Cardullo from Triple-A Albuquerque on Friday, marking the first time the 28-year-old has been on an active major league roster. He went 0 for 3 with a walk. Cardullo played four years of independent ball — where he was named MVP of the Canadian-American Association in 2015 — before signing a minor league deal with the Rockies in January.
Rockies: 2B D.J. LeMahieu participated in the pregame workout, but was held out a third straight game with a wrist injury. Weiss said that barring any issues from the workout, he anticipates LeMahieu returning to the lineup Saturday. LeMahieu entered play Friday second in the National League with a .344 average.
Rockies: LHP Jorge De La Rosa (8-7, 5.07 ERA) will look to build off his best start of the season when he takes the mound Saturday against the Nationals and RHP A.J. Cole (0-1, 5.14 ERA). De La Rosa threw a career-high tying eight innings and allowed two runs and four hits with one walk and six strikeouts in an 11-4 win over the Cubs on Aug. 21.