Denver, CO – The Nationals pitching staff has received the bulk of the credit for the team's unlikely stay atop the National League East, but the headlines have shifted toward Washington's lineup in the last two games at Coors Field.
A day after amassing 21 hits, the Nationals belted out 14 more against the Rockies in a lopsided 11-5 victory.
Six Nationals recorded multi-hit games, including Ryan Zimmerman and Jhonatan Solano, who both drove in three runs. Zimmerman, Ian Desmond and Tyler Moore all homered to overshadow a solid performance by starter Jordan Zimmermann.
"I don't think anybody here is really searching for confidence. We know we can play," said Desmond. "We've been playing good baseball all year long. It's nice to see the bats turning around."
Zimmermann (4-6) snapped a five-start winless stretch by scattering eight hits and three walks in seven innings of one-run ball.
His counterpart, Edwar Cabrera (0-1), failed to make it out of the third inning in his first career start, as the 24-year-old lefty was touched for seven runs -- five earned -- on five hits and three walks.
Washington improved to 3-3 on a 10-game road trip and dropped Colorado to 4-16 since June 5.
The Nationals jumped out to an 8-0 lead by the third inning, scoring once in the first frame when Bryce Harper scored on a Zimmerman groundout.
Moore, also a rookie, took Cabrera deep over the center field wall for a two- run shot in the second, and Danny Espinosa singled in Solano for a 4-0 lead.
Zimmerman and Desmond hit solo blasts in the third, and Cabrera was mercifully pulled after giving up a one-out walk to Mark DeRosa, who eventually scored on a Solano double.
Marco Scutaro's RBI single in the bottom half got Colorado on the board, only to have Zimmerman knock in Harper in Washington's next at-bat.
DeRosa's sacrifice fly in the seventh pushed Washington into double digits, and Solano made it 11-1 later in the frame with an RBI single.
The Rockies scored four runs over the final two innings off Washington's bullpen. Tyler Colvin, Jordan Pacheco, Dexter Fowler and Scutaro each drove in a run
"It is encouraging. We're definitely built to hit," Colvin said about the Rockies' late-game rally. "It's one of those things where you just have to stay in the game, keep plugging away and scoring some runs."
Desmond has five extra-base hits in his last two games...Cabrera was called up from Double-A Tulsa prior to the game...The Rockies also had 14 hits, including two from Fowler, Scutaro, Pacheco, Colvin and Carlos Gonzalez...Washington's Edwin Jackson will start opposite the winless Josh Outman in the finale of this four-game series Thursday afternoon.