An error-filled defense illustrated by the Colorado Rockies during the sixth inning of Saturday afternoon’s ball game is what led left-handed pitcher Gio Gonzalez to his twelfth win of the season with the Washington Nationals. The 4-1 victory marks the team’s forty ninth win this year.
It was the second-consecutive 100-plus degree day at Nationals Park but Gonzalez lasted six innings against Colorado. He gave up three hits, one run, three walks, and struck out six over 102 pitches, 60 for strikes. It wasn’t his most efficient outing but Colorado’s defensive missteps coupled by a productive Nats offense helped procure the positive outcome.
Rockies starting pitcher, southpaw Jeff Francis, held the Nats to one run and six hits in just under six innings of work but it was reliever Josh Roenicke and the Colorado defense that opened it up for a Nats victory in the sixth. The Nats scored early thanks to a one-out solo shot to the centerfield bleacher off the bat of Ian Desmond – his sixteenth homerun of the season – in the second inning to take an initial lead.
Washington was able to maintain that lead through the fourth inning up until Colorado’s first baseman Michael Cuddyer tied it up at one a piece. That tie didn’t last long though. Roenicke, Nats’ shortstop’s Ian Desmond’s brother-in-law, proceeded to give up three runs in the sixth inning allowing the Washington to take the lead back at 4-1.
Second baseman Danny Espinosa leadoff the sixth with a double off Roenicke followed by back-to-back singles from outfielder Bryce Harper and third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. Espniosa managed to score on a RBI-single from Zimmerman to lead that rally.
Three scoreless innings from the Nats bullpen closed it out for the team with appearances from righty Ryan Mattheus, lefty Sean Burnett , and righty Tyler Clippard – who snagged his fourteenth save of the year.