Rockies easily handle Nationals to keep rolling on road trip

Sep 18, 2021, 4:24 AM | Updated: 5:02 pm
Colorado Rockies' Trevor Story rounds the bases on his three-run home run during the fourth inning ...

Colorado Rockies' Trevor Story rounds the bases on his three-run home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Kyle Freeland struck out seven over six innings, Trevor Story hit a three-run homer and the Colorado Rockies beat the Washington Nationals 6-0 Saturday.

Brendan Rodgers had three hits, including his 14th homer three pitches into the game for a 2-0 Colorado lead. Twelve of Rodgers’ 14 homers this season have come away from hitter-friendly Coors Field.

“He’s popping right now and he’s due to pop off continuously,” Freeland said of Rodgers. “He’s got it all and I think he’s starting to realize that now.”

Story hit a high fly that sneaked over the wall in right field in the fourth to put the Rockies in front 6-0. Story has 23 homers with 14 games left after reaching 24 in each of his previous four full seasons.

“All in all, I thought a number of guys had good at-bats (Saturday),” Colorado manager Bud Black said. “There was some good things offensively. Really good.”

Freeland (6-8) gave up seven hits and a walk but lowered his ERA to 4.50. Juan Soto doubled for Washington’s only extra-base hit against Freeland, who had allowed eight home runs in his previous five starts.

Colorado is 7-1 on its nine-game trip that concludes Sunday in Washington. The Rockies are 51-44 since May 30. They were 19-34 prior.

“Obviously, you kind of think back and wish we played like this earlier,” Story said. “(But) I don’t think we’re going to live too much in the past there.”

Patrick Corbin (8-15) gave up his league-leading 35th and 36th home runs Saturday to raise his ERA to 6.11. He lasted four innings against Colorado, allowed six runs (five earned), walked three, and struck out five.

“He just had no command of his pitches,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “His fastball was erratic. He fell behind.”

The Nationals are 12th in ERA in the 15-team National League. The loss dropped last-place Washington to 60-88.

POLITICAL PITCH

Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Nationals first baseman Josh Bell on Saturday hours after Vice President Kamala Harris performed the coin flip before a football game between her alma mater Howard and visiting Hampton University at Audi Field, home to DC United of the MLS, and just a block from Nationals Park.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Tanner Rainey (left side soreness) was recalled Saturday from Triple-A Rochester. Washington sent reliever Wander Suero down to the Red Wings.

UP NEXT

RHP Paolo Espino (4-5, 4.18 ERA) will take the mound for the Nationals. RHP Jon Gray (8-10, 4.16) will pitch for Colorado.

___

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Rockies easily handle Nationals to keep rolling on road trip