Gonzalez earns 100th win as Nationals beat Rockies
WASHINGTON (AP) — On a night when Gio Gonzalez earned his 100th career win, the Nationals starter deflected praise to his teammates. There was plenty to go around after Washington beat the Colorado Rockies 8-5 on Friday night.
Jayson Werth and Daniel Murphy hit solo homers and drove in two runs each, and Bryce Harper had two extra-base hits as Washington earned its second straight win.
Murphy’s team-leading 25th home run gave the Nationals second baseman 500 career RBIs.
“That’s a special night, too,” Gonzalez said. “I’m just glad I can share the same special night with him and with this organization, with this team.”
Gonzalez became the fourth player to earn his 100th win in a Nationals uniform joining Livan Hernandez, Jason Marquis and Max Scherzer.
Gonzalez (9-9) threw six innings and allowed two runs and four hits with one walk and five strikeouts.
“Gio he kept his pitch count low,” manager Dusty Baker said. “That’s the key to his success, not getting runners on base or not walking people and he had a very good game tonight, excellent game.”
While Gonzalez hit the century mark, Rockies rookie Jeff Hoffman (0-2), remains in search of his first major league win. Hoffman’s first two starts have come against the top two teams in the National League in the Cubs and Nationals.
“I feel really grateful for that opportunity,” Hoffman said. “I feel like they pulled me up at a good time to test me and to test our team. Next time out, at home, we’re going to go out there and get another one.”
Hoffman allowed a homer to the second batter he faced when Werth went deep for the second time in as many days and the 18th time this season.
Murphy’s blast gave the Nationals a 4-2 lead in the fifth.
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.
“When you can run, you make people rush,” Baker said. “And if people rush in this game most of the time they’re not themselves and most of the time they’re going to make mistakes. and that’s what Trea does.”
Hoffman tossed six innings and allowed four runs (three earned) and six hits with four walks and three strikeouts.
“I thought there was some positives,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. “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. He’s got a good arm. I like what I see from him the second time out here.”
The Nationals blew the game open with a four-run seventh off reliever Matt Carasiti, highlighted by a two-run triple from Harper.
Closer Mark Melancon retired Christhian Adames for the final out. Melancon entered the game shortly after Nick Hundley hit a three-run homer off Shawn Kelley to pull the Rockies within three.
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.
Nationals: C Wilson Ramos was given a second straight night off Friday, with backup Jose Lobaton starting in his place. Baker said that Ramos is healthy and will start Saturday. The NL’s top-hitting catcher (.312) is 1 for 22 in his last five games.
Rockies: LHP Jorge De La Rosa (8-7) will look to build off his best start of the season when he takes the mound Saturday against the Nationals. 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.
Nationals: RHP A.J. Cole (0-1) will make his second start of the season Saturday against Colorado. Cole, was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse last Monday when Stephen Strasburg was paced on the DL. The 24-year-old threw seven innings and allowed four runs and five hits with two walks and eight strikeouts in a 4-3 loss to the Orioles on Aug. 22.