Blackmon homers twice as Rox beat Nationals 9-4 in 11 innings
AP Sports Writer
WASHINGTON — Even though the Colorado Rockies are all too accustomed to piecing together their lineup because of recent injuries, they were reminded Saturday what happens when their top players are healthy.
Back in the lineup together for the first time since Aug. 17, Charlie Blackmon, DJ LeMahieu and Carlos Gonzalez combined to drive in six runs on seven hits as the Rockies beat the Washington Nationals 9-4 in 11 innings. Blackmon hit two home runs and Gonzalez his 200th as Colorado snapped a four-game losing streak.
“There’s nothing like having your horses in there, and it changes the game when you’re at full strength,” manager Walt Weiss said.
NL MVP Bryce Harper was ejected in the 10th inning after getting called out on strikes. The Nationals star outfielder immediately yelled at plate umpire Mike Winters from close range and threw his helmet to the ground after being tossed.
“It just shouldn’t happen,” Harper said of Winters’ third-strike call. “Just bad behind there. It’s not a strike.”
After Jorge De La Rosa gave them five solid innings of three-run baseball with eight strikeouts, the Rockies went through plenty of twists and turns to win a game that took 4 hours, 49 minutes to play.
Colorado scored a run on a wild pitch during an intentional walk, lost the lead with two outs in the ninth on an RBI single by Jayson Werth off closer Adam Ottavino and roughed up Yusmeiro Petit (3-4) for five runs in the 11th.
With LeMahieu back after missing three games with a wrist injury, he and Blackmon combined to go 6 for 11 with three RBIs and four runs scored.
“We missed some guys earlier in the road trip,” said Blackmon, who has 23 home runs and five multihomer games. “It’s always a different lineup when DJ’s not in there, so to have him back was obviously a real good boost.”
LeMahieu went 3 for 5 to raise his average to .347 and pass the Nationals’ Daniel Murphy for the NL batting lead.
“This guy, he’s a professional hitter,” said Gonzalez, who hit his 24th home run of the season in the 11th off Petit. “He knows how to put great at-bats out there and give everybody an opportunity to drive in runs.”