EditorsNote: rewords third graf, adds new fourth and last grafs
Charlie Blackmon hit an RBI double in the eighth inning to complete the cycle, and the Colorado Rockies beat the Washington Nationals 12-0 on Sunday in Denver to tie the Los Angeles Dodgers for first place in the National League West.
Blackmon tripled in the first, homered in the third and singled in the fifth to help Colorado (91-71) make quick work of the Nationals and force an extra game for the division crown.
The Dodgers (91-71) routed the San Francisco Giants 15-0 on Sunday to keep pace with Colorado, which has won nine of 10. The teams will meet Monday in Los Angeles, with the winner taking the division and the loser playing either the Milwaukee Brewers or the Chicago Cubs in the NL wild-card game on Tuesday.
Milwaukee will play at Chicago on Monday to determine the NL Central champion.
Nolan Arenado homered twice, David Dahl and Trevor Story also went deep, and Tyler Anderson pitched 7 2/3 sharp inning for the Rockies, who will play in a 163rd game for the second time. In 2007, they beat the San Diego Padres to earn a wild-card berth, and then went on to sweep through the NL playoffs on the way to the World Series.
The Rockies posted their second-highest win total in franchise history, falling one shy of the 2009 team. They will be making their fifth-ever playoff appearance and are seeking their first division title.
Washington (82-80) was held to five hits, two by Bryce Harper, who might have played his final game in a Nationals uniform. Harper is a free agent after the season.
His potential last game was a dud for Washington, which got behind early against a resurgent Anderson (7-9). The lefty had not pitched since Sept. 19 because of shoulder tightness, but he scattered four hits and three walks while fanning five to save the bullpen for Monday.
He was backed by big hits early and often. Arenado hit a two-run homer in the first inning off of Erick Fedde (2-4). Blackmon had a two-run shot in the third, his 29th, and Dahl had a three-run shot in the fifth. It was Dahl’s 16th, and his fifth home run in the past six games.
Arenado added another two-run shot in the seventh, and Story made it back-to-back shots right after with his 36th. After struggling for much of September Arenado finished with 37 home runs, which leads the NL.
Stats from the Monday tiebreaker games will count toward regular-season totals.
—Field Level Media