Rockies try to get back to .500 against Nationals

Venezuelan righty Jhoulys Chacin can pitch the Colorado Rockies back to .500 on Saturday when they visit Nationals Park for the third of four weekend games with the Washington Nationals.

The Rockies entered Friday's second game at exactly .500 (37-37), but dropped a game below the mark when the Nationals scored a 2-1 victory behind starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg.

The win boosted Washington to a game above .500 at 37-36.

On Friday, Ian Desmond's solo home run in the seventh inning salvaged Strasburg's dominant outing and gave Washington its third straight win.

Strasburg (4-6) gave up one run on five hits in seven innings. He struck out nine and did not issue a walk.

In addition to Desmond's home run, Ryan Zimmerman doubled in a run in the sixth inning that also drew a fist pump from Strasburg in the dugout.

Tyler Chatwood went toe-to-toe with Strasburg for six innings. He gave up one run on four hits en route to earning a no-decision. He struck out four and walked two.

Manny Corpas (0-2) took the loss. He pitched 1 2/3 innings and gave up Desmond's home run.

DJ LeMahieu went 2-for-4 and knocked in the Rockies' only run.

The teams met up last week in Colorado, where the Nationals won two of three.

Meanwhile, Chacin, who turned 25 in January, was an 11-game winner in 2011 before skidding to just three victories in 14 starts last season,

He split his initial six decisions in 2013, but has since won two straight, defeating the Nationals and Philadelphia on June 11 and 16, respectively.

Against Washington, he scattered seven hits and allowed two runs in five innings of an 8-3 triumph.

The win upped his record against the Nationals to 2-2 in four career starts in which he's allowed 12 runs on 22 hits in 22 innings.

For Washington, 32-year-old veteran righty Dan Haren tries again to end a skid that's kept him winless since May 9.

The Californian was 4-3 on the season after a 5-4 defeat of the Detroit Tigers and gave up four runs on nine hits in six innings.

He's gone without a victory in seven starts since, losing five decisions while watching his earned run average climb from 5.17 to 5.72.

The Nationals have lost each of his last seven starts.