Washington had one of its best offensive showings since relocating from Montreal in 2005 in last night's win over the Colorado Rockies.
In response, Colorado will send a 24-year-old making his major league debut to the hill tonight in the third contest of a four-game series at Coors Field.
Manager Jim Tracy will add Edwar Cabrera to his rotation tonight after the undrafted Dominican continued to put up solid numbers in the minors.
After striking out a total of 217 batters last season at two Class-A levels, Cabrera has gone 8-4 with a 2.94 earned run average in 15 starts this year with Double-A Tulsa. The left-hander has recorded another 82 strikeouts over 98 innings.
"Just take a look at what he's done so far," Tracy said on Colorado's website. "He's a strike-thrower. This is another young kid that's going to pitch in the big leagues for the first time. You've got to give him an opportunity not only to get his feet wet, but get a chance to settle in at this level and see what it's all about.
"He's coming from Tulsa, and I believe at this time last year he was an Asheville Tourist. That's a lot of progress in a very short period of time, but this is a much different league than the South Atlantic League or the Texas League. We'll give him an opportunity to see how he handles it."
With Cabrera set to make his debut, Josh Outman will be pushed back to Thursday as Tracy continues to go with a four-man rotation that sees its hurlers limited to 75 pitches an outing.
Christian Friedrich was lifted after 70 pitches in Tuesday's 12-5 defeat, hurling 4 1/3 innings and yielding four runs.
"He pitched a lot better than his numbers indicated for the time that he was out there," said Tracy.
The Nationals battered the Rockies' bullpen for another eight runs and 12 hits en route to the big victory. The 12 runs scored were a season high and the 21 hits were tied for the most for the franchise since relocating to Washington. The Nats also set a new club mark with 11 extra-base hits.
"My hitting coach is a genius," Washington manager Davey Johnson joked. "What can I say?"
Adam LaRoche hit two of the Nationals' four homers, while Tyler Moore and Ryan Zimmerman also went deep. Zimmerman ended with three hits, including the 1,000th of his career, while Michael Morse and Ian Desmond both had four hits and a pair of RBI.
The win moved the Nationals to 2-3 on a 10-game road trip and was the 10th of the season for starter Gio Gonzalez, who earned the victory even though he gave up five runs -- four earned -- over six innings.
Dexter Fowler and Jonathan Herrera hit solo homers for the Rockies, who fell to 4-15 since June 5. They had won the opener of the four-game series 4-2 on Monday.
Jordan Zimmermann looks to halt a five-start winless stretch tonight and he has gone 0-2 over that span despite a solid 3.66 ERA. He took a 2-1 loss at Baltimore on Friday, yielding both runs on eight hits over seven innings. The right-hander wasn't happy with his outing even though a lack of run support was more to blame.
"My slider was terrible, it was just spinning," said Zimmermann, who hasn't won since May 22. "The fastball command wasn't that good. I had runners on almost every inning and really had to battle tonight."
The 26-year-old is 3-6 with a 2.89 ERA in 14 starts this season and 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in three lifetime encounters with the Rockies.
The Rockies have won eight of their past 12 versus the Nationals.