Good luck navigating through the top five of Washington’s lineup these days.
It’s definitely a pick-your-poison sort of situation.
Trea Turner nearly hit for the cycle for a second straight night, finishing a triple shy, and Bryce Harper had four more hits to run his average to .432 as the Nationals beat the Colorado Rockies 11-4 on Wednesday.
In all, the combination of Adam Eaton, Turner, Harper, Ryan Zimmerman and Daniel Murphy went 13 of 24 with three homers and all 11 RBIs to help the Nationals improve to 8-1 on their 10-game trip.
Now that’s production.
“We have power and most of them are swinging pretty good right now,” Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. “We get greedy. We smell kind of blood in the water and they jump on it. This is what we preach all the time.”
Tanner Roark (3-0) worked his way out of several jams to throw five solid innings. He allowed two runs and struck out four.
Never quite settling in on a cool night, Tyler Chatwood (2-3) surrendered five runs in five innings.
“My misses are bad right now,” Chatwood said. “That’s the big thing that’s hurting me.”
Turner followed his cycle the night before with a solo shot in the fifth, a single in the seventh and a double in the eighth. He didn’t get up again in the game to try for the triple.
“He’s going to have a lot of cycles in his career. That’s just who he is and type of player he is,” Harper said. “He has a good chance to do that on any given night. If he played here, he’d probably do it a lot more.”
Zimmerman had a two-run shot in the fifth and Murphy added a three-run homer in the seventh that turned the game into a rout. Harper kept up his torrid pace at the plate with four hard hits, including a double. It was his third four-hit game this season.
“As you know, their top five guys, right now, presently, are swinging it,” said Rockies manager Bud Black, whose team committed a season-high three errors. “Very, very formidable.”
Roark ran into trouble in the fifth when the Rockies loaded the bases. He walked DJ LeMahieu to force in a run and gave up another run on Nolan Arenado’s fielder’s choice. With two outs and two on, Roark struck out Carlos Gonzalez with a 77-mph curve. Gonzalez broke his bat on the ground in frustration.
For the second straight night, a two-out walk in the second inning to the pitcher came back to haunt the Rockies. After Chatwood missed on a 3-2 fastball to Roark, Eaton followed with a two-run single.
“That’s embarrassing,” Chatwood said of walking Roark after an 0-2 count.
On Tuesday, German Marquez issued a two-out walk that turned into a five-run frame in a game the Nationals won 15-12. They have taken two of three in the four-game series with Colorado.