Ian Desmond belted a homer to lead off the ninth, and fellow former National Daniel Murphy plated the go-ahead run later in the inning as the visiting Colorado Rockies rallied for an 8-7 victory over Washington on Thursday.
Fernando Rodney (0-4) was summoned to work the ninth inning after Sean Doolittle earned two saves Wednesday in Washington’s doubleheader sweep of Colorado. Rodney was unable to preserve the Nationals’ 7-6 lead after Desmond deposited a 1-2 slider over the wall in center field for his 13th homer of the season.
Charlie Blackmon walked, took second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on David Dahl’s single. Blackmon scored on a fielder’s-choice grounder by Murphy, who belted a solo homer among his three hits and scored three runs.
Ryan McMahon and Garrett Hampson each hit a two-run homer for Colorado, which recorded just its second win in 11 contests and spoiled Max Scherzer’s return by salvaging the finale of the four-game series.
Anthony Rendon connected for a three-run homer and Matt Adams added a solo shot for Washington, which fell for just the fourth time in its past 16 home games and dropped 4 1/2 games behind the National League East-leading Atlanta Braves.
Scherzer, who had been sidelined due to an inflamed bursa sac in his back/shoulder, struggled in his first start since July 6. The three-time Cy Young Award recipient received a no-decision after allowing three runs on four hits with eight strikeouts and two walks in a season-low-tying five innings.
Colorado’s late uprising made a winner out of Jairo Diaz (3-2), who retired the side in order in the eighth inning. Wade Davis struck out three in his ninth for his 15th save.
Washington answered McMahon’s two-run homer in the top of the sixth by scoring three times in the bottom of the inning to seize a 6-5 lead.
Bryan Shaw issued back-to-back, one-out walks to Brian Dozier and Victor Robles before the runners executed a double steal without the right-hander tossing a pitch. Gerardo Parra brought them home with a double to right field before Trea Turner singled to center to give the Nationals their first lead of the game.
Adams launched a towering homer in the seventh inning to stake the Nationals to a 7-5 lead before Murphy answered with a homer to lead off the eighth.
—Field Level Media