Helton helps Rockies beat Strasburg, Nationals 4-2

Dexter Fowler and the Colorado Rockies enjoyed this one very much.

Fowler had two hits, Todd Helton delivered a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the sixth inning and the Rockies beat Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals 4-2 on Monday night.

Strasburg had won six consecutive starts, compiling a 2.75 ERA over that stretch, but he couldn't off Colorado.

"You get a ton of satisfaction," Fowler said. "He is a dominant pitcher. He's an All-Star."

Jeff Francis pitched five effective innings as the Rockies won for just the fourth time in 18 games. Carlos Gonzalez had a key RBI single.

"It boils down to we got five solid innings from our starter and our bullpen did an efficient job. That's how you beat him," manager Jim Tracy said of Strasburg.

Strasburg (9-2) allowed three runs and six hits in six innings. He was bidding to become the first Washington-based pitcher to win seven straight starts since Bob Porterfield did it in his final seven starts for the Senators in 1953. The last pitcher from the Nationals franchise to win seven straight starts was Pedro Martinez in 1997 for the Montreal Expos, who moved to Washington.

Strasburg helped himself with a tiebreaking RBI double in the fifth, putting the Nationals ahead 2-1. He also had a sacrifice in the third that set up Ryan Zimmerman's run-scoring double.

But the Rockies went ahead for good in the sixth. Fowler led off with a triple into the right-field corner. Strasburg then beaned Marco Scutaro with his first pitch, a 95 mph fastball that audibly resounded off Scutaro's helmet. He got up quickly but was replaced by Chris Nelson after being examined by Rockies trainer Keith Dugger.

Gonzalez followed with a run-scoring single, and Michael Cuddyer's base hit loaded the bases. Helton then drove in Nelson with a fly ball to center field.

"It is a good win, but only one win," Helton said. "We need to get a few more of these to get our season going."

After falling behind Jordan Pacheco 3-0, Strasburg intentionally walked him to load the bases for Wilin Rosario and struck him out on an 82 mph curveball. Jonathan Herrera then grounded to shortstop Ian Desmond, who ran to second for the forceout.

The Rockies tacked on a run in the seventh when pinch-hitter Eric Young led off with a walk, stole second and scored on Nelson's one-out single.

Strasburg struck out eight and walked one. He had not allowed more than two runs in each of his previous four starts.

Nationals rookie Bryce Harper went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts.

Josh Roenicke (3-0) followed Francis with two scoreless innings. Matt Belisle worked the eighth and Rafael Betancourt finished for his 12th save.

Betancourt allowed consecutive one-out singles, bringing up pinch-hitter Roger Bernadina. He hit a hard liner to right field but just a few steps from Cuddyer. Betancourt then got Danny Espinosa to bounce out to second to end the game.

Jesus Flores had three hits and scored twice for Washington.

NOTES: Tracy said Scutaro would be OK. ... The gametime temperature was 100 degrees, the hottest game to be played at Coors Field, which opened in 1995. ... The Rockies optioned RHP Alex White to Triple-A Colorado Springs and recalled RHP Zach Putnam from Colorado Springs.