Nats can’t stop LeMahieu in 6-2 loss to Rockies
DENVER (AP) — The Washington Nationals are having trouble with Colorado Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu.
They haven’t been able to get him out in two days.
LeMahieu had three hits and reached base for the ninth straight plate appearance and the Rockies beat the Nationals 6-2 on Tuesday night following a lengthy weather delay.
LeMahieu singled in the first inning, hit a two-run home run in the third and tripled and scored the go-ahead run in the fifth off Yusmeiro Petit (3-3). He also walked in the seventh after going 4 for 4 on Monday and walking in his final plate appearance Sunday.
“It was about too much LeMahieu,” Washington manager Dusty Baker said. “What’s he got like seven hits in a row? We just got to figure out how to get LeMahieu out and pitch a little better against everybody else.”
Rain and lightning swept over Coors Field at the start of the fourth, and the game didn’t resume until 9:52 p.m. after a delay of 2 hours, 5 minutes.
Washington starter Gio Gonzalez allowed two runs in three innings but didn’t return to the mound after the delay. The Nationals had their three-game winning streak snapped and lost for just the second time in six games.
“You never know what you’re getting with Colorado,” Gonzalez said. “It’s already tough enough to pitch here and you got a storm coming in behind you.”
Washington’s Daniel Murphy improved his averaged to a National League-best .348 with two hits, keeping him six points ahead of LeMahieu
Jayson Werth, meanwhile, singled in the third to extend his on-base streak to a career-best 44 games. That’s the longest in the majors this season and the longest in Nationals history.
The Rockies, however, got six scoreless innings from their bullpen.
“We had ample opportunities to try to strike against their bullpen,” Murphy said. “Unfortunately, offensively we weren’t able to do so tonight.”
Colorado won for the second time in 10 games. Nolan Arenado and David Dahl each had two RBIs, and Chris Rusin (3-4) threw three innings in relief of starter Chad Bettis.
Before the delay, LeMahieu tied the game with his ninth homer of the year. After it, Arenado added an RBI groundout in the fifth and a sac fly in the seventh. Dahl drove in two more runs with a pinch-hit double in seventh.
LeMahieu’s batting average is up 14 points over his past four games to .342.
“It seems like there’s nothing you can throw over the plate or around the plate that he’s not going to hit pretty solid,” Gonzalez said.
Washington had three hits and scored twice in the third. Bryce Harper drove in a run on a groundout and Wilson Ramos added an RBI single off the right-field wall.
Washington: RHP Joe Ross (shoulder) threw a bullpen session on Tuesday. ... 1B Ryan Zimmerman (wrist) and C Jose Lobaton (elbow) began rehab assignments Monday and could return as soon as this week.
Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (15-3, 3.07 ERA) lost his last two outings, allowing 10 runs over 10 innings.
Rockies: RHP Jon Gray (8-6, 4.55) also lost his previous two outings, allowing 15 runs (14 earned) over eight innings.