WASHINGTON — Even though the Colorado Rockies are all too accustomed to piecing together their lineup because of recent injuries, they were reminded Saturday what happens when their top players are healthy.
Back in the lineup together for the first time since Aug. 17, Charlie Blackmon, DJ LeMahieu and Carlos Gonzalez combined to drive in six runs on seven hits as the Rockies beat the Washington Nationals 9-4 in 11 innings. Blackmon hit two home runs and Gonzalez his 200th as Colorado snapped a four-game losing streak.
“There’s nothing like having your horses in there, and it changes the game when you’re at full strength,” manager Walt Weiss said.
NL MVP Bryce Harper was ejected in the 10th inning after getting called out on strikes. The Nationals star outfielder immediately yelled at plate umpire Mike Winters from close range and threw his helmet to the ground after being tossed.
“It just shouldn’t happen,” Harper said of Winters’ third-strike call. “Just bad behind there. It’s not a strike.”
After Jorge De La Rosa gave them five solid innings of three-run baseball with eight strikeouts, the Rockies went through plenty of twists and turns to win a game that took 4 hours, 49 minutes to play.
Colorado scored a run on a wild pitch during an intentional walk, lost the lead with two outs in the ninth on an RBI single by Jayson Werth off closer Adam Ottavino and roughed up Yusmeiro Petit (3-4) for five runs in the 11th.
With LeMahieu back after missing three games with a wrist injury, he and Blackmon combined to go 6 for 11 with three RBIs and four runs scored.
“We missed some guys earlier in the road trip,” said Blackmon, who has 23 home runs and five multihomer games. “It’s always a different lineup when DJ’s not in there, so to have him back was obviously a real good boost.”
LeMahieu went 3 for 5 to raise his average to .347 and pass the Nationals’ Daniel Murphy for the NL batting lead.
“This guy, he’s a professional hitter,” said Gonzalez, who hit his 24th home run of the season in the 11th off Petit. “He knows how to put great at-bats out there and give everybody an opportunity to drive in runs.”
Ottavino’s streak of not allowing a run ended at 31 1/3 innings on Werth’s RBI single. Dating to Sept. 6, 2014, it’s the longest active streak in the majors.
“It’s disappointing, obviously, when he got the hit, but the game’s over if the next guy gets a hit,” said Ottavino, who got Murphy to ground out to send the game to extra innings. “I’m happy I got that guy out so we were able to do what we did and win the game.”
WALK THIS WAY
Nationals starter A.J. Cole allowed a run to score when he threw the ball away when trying to intentionally walk Daniel Descalso in the fourth.
“I haven’t seen an intentional walk go awry in a long time,” manager Dusty Baker said. “They were just going to say, ‘Take your base’ intentionally, but that’s a reason you know for it not to.”
It got worse for the Nationals because De La Rosa had an RBI single on the next at-bat, extending his hitting streak to a career-best four games.
VAMOS RAMOS SLUMP
With his RBI single in the fourth, Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos snapped a 1-for-23 slump. Ramos is the National League’s best hitting catcher this season.
Rockies: Weiss said RHP Tyler Chatwood (mid-back strain) will go on a rehab assignment with details still to be determined.
Nationals: RHP Joe Ross, who has been out since early July with shoulder inflammation, will begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Syracuse on Sunday.
RHP Chad Bettis (10-7, 5.29 ERA) starts for the second time in 12 days against the Nationals, who will call up RHP Lucas Giolito (0-0, 4.91) to make his fourth career major league start.