LeMahieu homers twice to lead Rockies to 5-1 win over Nats
WASHINGTON — DJ LeMahieu hit two home runs and drove in a career-high four runs to lead the Colorado Rockies to a 5-1 victory over the Washington Nationals on Thursday.
Chad Bettis (2-0) allowed one run and three hits over seven innings as Colorado took the opener of a four-game series.
LeMahieu’s four-hit game matched a career high.
He provided most of the offense, starting with the game’s first at-bat.
The second baseman sent Washington starter Gio Gonzalez’s third pitch into the Colorado bullpen in left.
The Rockies managed another run in the first when Washington second baseman Howie Kendrick misplayed Ian Desmond’s two-out pop up and allowed Chris Iannetta to score from second.
LeMahieu added an RBI double in the second off Gonzalez (1-1). In the sixth, he smacked a two-run homer to center off reliever Matt Grace to make it 5-1.
It was the second career multi-homer game for LeMahieu, who hit two last season at Atlanta on Aug. 26. The second baseman has four homers on the season, already halfway to his season total from a year ago, and his seven multi-hit games rank behind only San Diego first baseman Eric Hosmer’s eight in the National League.
Kendrick’s home run in the fifth was his first of the season and extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
Gonzalez allowed five hits and three runs in five innings, losing for the first time in six career starts against Colorado.
Rockies: OF Charlie Blackmon was out of the lineup for the third consecutive game with right quad tightness. “He’s improving,” manager Bud Black said. “Hopefully in the next couple days we’ll get him out there.”
Nationals: Manager Dave Martinez said RHP Koda Glover, on the 60-day disabled list with shoulder tendinitis, is throwing from 75 feet.
Rockies: LHP Kyle Freeland (0-2, 5.56 ERA) has allowed two home runs in both of his first two starts this season.
Nationals: RHP Tanner Roark (1-0, 4.50 ERA) has struck out 14 in 11 career innings against Colorado.