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The top of the order powers the Rockies to 10-6 win over the Nationals

Charlie Blackmon, DJ LeMahieu, and Nolan Arenado combined to reach base 12 times

The Rockies won 10-6 in game one of their day/night double header against the Nationals. They’ve clinched the series win in Washington. It’s the Rockies’ first road series win since they took three out of four against the Cubs in Wrigley Field from June 8-11.

The Rockies won with an outstanding offensive showing from the top of the order. Charlie Blackmon, DJ LeMahieu, and Nolan Arenado reached base in 12 of their 15 plate appearances with two doubles, a triple, five runs driven in, and six runs scored. That was enough to back up an uneven start from Kyle Freeland and a sturdy showing from the Rockies’ bullpen. Freeland threw 89 pitches and only made it through five innings, during which he allowed four runs and nine hits. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out four. Chris Rusin, Pat Neshek, Mike Dunn, and Greg Holland combined to pitch the final four innings.

Blackmon led off the game with a single, and DJ LeMahieu followed that up with another. Nolan Arenado walked to load the bases with nobody out. The Rockies got a run in the least desirable way possible after that: Gerardo Parra grounded into a double play to score Blackmon (the first of two times he did that). The Rockies’ potential big inning suddenly didn’t look as promising. Raimel Tapia, however, was able to get the Rockies another run with hard hit single to right field to make it 2-0. The Nationals got a run back in the bottom of the first from a solo home run off the bat of Wilmer Difo.

The top of the lineup did it again in the third inning. Blackmon knocked his second single of the game, and LeMahieu drove him in with an opposite field double. Arenado moved LeMahieu to third with a single to put runners on the corners with nobody out. Parra drove in the second run of the inning with another double play, making it 4-1.

The Nationals tied it up in the third. Brian Goodwin led off the inning with a double, and Difo subsequently reached on an error from Arenado (initially called an out, but it was overturned). That put two on with nobody out with Bryce Harper up. He and Freeland battled in an eight-pitch at bat that culminated with a slider down in the zone that Harper whiffed on. The inning wasn’t over though. Ryan Zimmerman, due up next, hit a letter high fastball out to right field—just barely over the fence. That tied the game 4-4.

The Rockies quickly re-took the lead with three runs in the fourth, the first of which was the product of a weird play. Carlos González led off with a bunt single, and he moved to second after Trevor Story took a walk. Hanigan singled to right field, and CarGo seemed to hesitate in between third and home. He eventually took off for the plate because he had no choice: Story was on his way to third. Story appeared to be thrown out at third, but it turns out Nationals shortstop Adrian Sanchez interfered with Story on his way there. That gave the Rockies a 5-4 lead, and the Rockies added two more in the inning, and they wouldn’t relinquish the lead again.

Freeland’s final inning was the fifth. He got through it without allowing a base runner, and he did so with the help of his defense:

The Rockies added runs in the sixth, eighth, and ninth, and Zimmerman hit his second home run of the day in the seventh off of Neshek (who was not too pleased about it). Those additions made it a 10-5 game.

Dunn finished the eighth inning and came back out for the ninth. The Rockies probably didn’t want to use Holland in the first game of the series, but they had to. Goodwin and Difo led off the inning with back-to-back singles, but Dunn was able to get Harper to pop up to the infield. Dunn’s walk to Zimmerman to load the bases with one out caused Black to remove him and bring Holland in. Rendon, the first batter Holland faced, knocked a single to make it 10-6, keeping the bases loaded. But Holland was able to get Howie Kendrick to ground into a game-ending double play.

The Rockies will attempt the sweep in the second game of the double header, which gets started at 5:40 MT. Jon Gray will face Edwin Jackson.