WASHINGTON — German Marquez is rolling along quite nicely for the Colorado Rockies. Just ask Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals.
Marquez carried a perfect game into the sixth inning, Trevor Story homered and Colorado beat Washington 4-2 on Saturday night in a matchup of playoff contenders.
Marquez (9-4) set down his first 16 batters before allowing three hits in a span of four hitters in the sixth inning. The right-hander struck out a career-high 10 while allowing two runs and three hits over seven innings in his 20th career start.
“That’s a really special performance when you take a perfecto into the sixth inning,” Colorado manager Bud Black said.
Pat Neshek, who was acquired in a trade with Philadelphia on Wednesday, pitched a perfect eighth in his Rockies debut. Greg Holland, who was activated from the paternity list Saturday, completed a 1-2-3 ninth for his 32nd save in 33 tries.
Marquez won his fourth consecutive start. He also joined teammates Kyle Freeland and Antonio Senzatela as the only rookies in the majors with at least nine victories this season.
“He had great stuff going tonight,” Nationals catcher Matt Wieters said. “He had a curveball that was really sharp. It was tough. He was able to throw it for strikes early and then throw a hard one below. He got rolling there the first time through the lineup.”
Harper went 0 for 4 to end his 19-game hitting streak. Tanner Roark (8-7) labored through five innings, allowing four runs and five hits with four walks.
“He was wild wide off the plate,” Washington manager Dusty Baker said. “Every time he tried to go away, it’d be off the plate.”
Story hit a two-run drive to right-center in the second for his 15th homer this season. Gerardo Parra and Mark Reynolds added consecutive RBI doubles in the fifth.
Marquez struck out Adam Lind to open the sixth. Wieters then poked a single to left to break up Marquez’s bid for a perfect game and pinch hitter Howie Kendrick, making his Washington debut a day after he was acquired in a trade with Philadelphia, doubled.
Wilmer Difo got Washington on the board with a two-run single, but Harper struck out to end the threat.
Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, Daniel Murphy, Anthony Rendon and Lind, the Nationals’ Nos. 3-7 hitters, each entered the night hitting at least .317. They combined to go 0 for 16.
“To hold this lineup that they have to what he did tonight, he obviously had electric stuff throwing 98, 99,” Reynolds said. “He was dotting his slider and curveball and threw his changeup when he had to. He was impressive.”
Story hit his third homer in five games. It’s the first time he has had such a stretch since smacking three in four games April 18-22.
“That was a really solid at-bat and he got a ball out over the plate and hit the opposite-field homer,” Black said. “Trev’s had better at-bats the last month.”
Colorado recalled outfielder Raimel Tapia from Triple-A Albuquerque, optioned right-hander Carlos Estevez to Albuquerque and designated right-hander Jordan Lyles for assignment. Estevez is 4-0 with an 8.10 ERA in 18 games with Colorado this season, while Lyles was 0-2 with a 6.94 ERA in 33 appearances.
Nationals: INF Stephen Drew was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left abdominal strain. … General manager Mike Rizzo said RHP Stephen Strasburg came through his Saturday bullpen session well. Strasburg (right elbow nerve impingement) is eligible to be activated from the disabled list on Thursday.
Rockies: Freeland (10-7, 3.64 ERA) and RHP Jon Gray (3-1, 5.84 ERA) start Sunday in a split doubleheader prompted by Friday’s rainout.
Nationals: RHP Erick Fedde makes his major league debut in Sunday’s first game. RHP Edwin Jackson (1-1, 3.75 ERA) gets the nod in the nightcap.
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