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Nationals 3, Rockies 2: Walks and solo home runs will haunt

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The Rockies drop the first game of the doubleheader in D.C.

In their second doubleheader in nine games, the Rockies fell again. This marks their 15th loss time in 18 games and ninth loss in 12 games since the All-Star Break. However, it was the first time they lost by one run since the second game of last week’s doubleheader against the Giants. Despite the result, there were some bright spots.

Gray was howling, until he wasn’t

Jon Gray threw just 76 pitches through four innings before being lifted. He left the game with four strikeouts and five walks (one intentional), matching a career-high for the third time. The only inning in which he didn’t hit a batter was the third inning. Gray looked poised, especially in the second where he gave up a lead off double to Matt Adams but was able to get out of it with two line outs, an intentional walk, and a strikeout. However, he was also hit in the calf by a Brian Dozier line drive in that inning. He came back in the third with a 1-2-3 inning, but the wheels really fell off in the fourth. Gray walked three of his final five batters, including Gerardo Parra with the bases loaded to tie the game at 1-1. He was then lifted and it was announced that he was being evaluated for a calf injury. Poor Gray had a stomach bug in his last outing and now this. Hopefully he has more luck in his next start.

Go Yonder, Mac!

Ryan McMahon and Yonder Alonso provided bright spots in the otherwise dismal affair. Alonso went 2-for-3 with two doubles and McMahon knocked him in both times — on a sacrifice fly in the fourth and on an RBI single in the sixth. Alonso has gone 3-for-4 with three doubles in two games with the Rockies. McMahon has gone 12-for-42 (.286) with six extra base hits in the second half.

What to do about the bullpen

After Jon Gray was lifted, Chad Bettis entered the game and promptly gave up a solo home run to Adam Eaton on the very first pitch of the fifth inning to give the Nationals a 2-1 lead. Bettis settled down a bit after that, lasting two innings and only giving up two hits. He struck out one and walked two. Carlos Estévez entered in the seventh to finish the game and, like Bettis, gave up a solo home run to Anthony Rendon. Estévez also lasted two innings, giving up three hits. He did not walk a batter and also struck out one.

Up Next

The second game of the doubleheader will feature a lefty battle between Kyle Freeland and Patrick Corbin. First pitch is at 5:05pm MT.