Harper pow­ers 11-run in­ning in Na­tion­als’ rout

The Washington Times Daily - - SPORTS - BY PAT GRA­HAM

DEN­VER | Bryce Harper hit a three-run homer as part of an 11run sev­enth in­ning, Trea Turner en­joyed an­other big game at Coors Field and the Wash­ing­ton Na­tion­als routed the Colorado Rock­ies 16-5 on Thurs­day.

Turner proved to be a pitcher’s night­mare through­out the fourgame se­ries. He hit for the cy­cle on Tues­day, fin­ished a triple shy of an­other cy­cle Wed­nes­day and added a dou­ble and two sin­gles in the fi­nale - in all, he had nine ex­tra-base hits, scored 10 runs and had 11 RBIs.

Wash­ing­ton fin­ished 9-1 on its road trip, tak­ing three of the last four at Colorado. What’s more, the Na­tion­als scored 11 or more runs in three straight games for the first time since July 1986 at At­lanta, when the team was the Mon­treal Ex­pos.

Lead­ing 4-2, the Na­tion­als broke the game open in the sev­enth by send­ing 15 bat­ters to the plate and pound­ing out eight hits, in­clud­ing Harper’s eighth homer.

Gon­za­lez (3-0) scat­tered seven hits over 6 2/3 in­nings to im­prove to 4-0 all-time against Colorado. He also had a good day at the plate with two RBIs, in­clud­ing a bases-loaded walk in the big sev­enth.

Rock­ies rookie An­to­nio Sen­za­tela (3-1) couldn’t find his typ­i­cal com­mand in sur­ren­der­ing four runs over six in­nings.

Turner, who came off the dis­abled list less than a week ago, made him­self at home.

“This ball­park, for what­ever rea­son, feels pretty com­fort­able to me,” the se­cond-year player said. “It’s fun hit­ting here.”

His team­mates felt the same way as ev­ery starter had a hit Thurs­day.

Be­fore the game, Rock­ies man­ager Bud Black said he was go­ing to talk to Sen­za­tela about not walk­ing the pitcher, which he termed a “bad sin.” Both Tyler Chat­wood and Ger­man Mar­quez did just that the pre­vi­ous two games, paving the way to costly in­nings.

Sen­za­tela didn’t walk the pitcher, but re­liever Car­los Estevez did in the sev­enth.

The dam­ag­ing play, though, was ear­lier in the in­ning, when first base­man Mark Reynolds fielded Harper’s grounder and in­stead of step­ping on the bag, threw home to get the run­ner he fig­ured was break­ing for home. Only, the run­ner wasn’t go­ing and the throw wound up in the dugout.

Na­tion­als righty Stephen Stras­burg was re­in­stated from the pa­ter­nity list af­ter the birth of his se­cond daugh­ter. Stras­burg is sched­uled to throw Satur­day against the New York Mets.

Rock­ies out­fielder Gerardo Parra made a leap­ing catch in the sixth just be­fore hit­ting the wall. Parra was shak­ing his right hand, but stayed in the game.

Na­tion­als in­fielder Ryan Zimmerman and Rock­ies out­fielder Car­los Gon­za­lez didn’t start. Both had planned rest days, al­though man­ager Dusty Baker strug­gled with the de­ci­sion with Zimmerman.

“It’s hard to rest him be­cause he’s hot,” Baker said.

Rock­ies out­fielder Char­lie Black­mon had two hits to ex­tend his hit­ting streak to 12 games. Third base­man Nolan Are­nado hit a solo homer in the first - about the only mis­take Gon­za­lez made all af­ter­noon.

Na­tion­als right-han­der Max Scherzer (3-1, 1.95 ERA) starts Fri­day when the Na­tion­als open a three-game se­ries against the New York Mets. Scherzer has 55 strike­outs in his last five games against the Mets, who will throw RHP Ja­cob deGrom (0-1).

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Wash­ing­ton Na­tion­als’ Adam Ea­ton con­grat­u­lates Bryce Harper on his three-run home run in a 16-5 win over the Colorado Rock­ies Thurs­day.

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