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Nationals can't figure out Rockies' Marquez, lose 4-2

Nationals can't figure out Rockies' Marquez, lose 4-2

WASHINGTON -- German Marquez is rolling along quite nicely for the Colorado Rockies. Just ask Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals.

Marquez carried a perfect game into the sixth inning, Trevor Story homered and Colorado beat Washington 4-2 on Saturday night in a matchup of playoff contenders.

Marquez (9-4) set down his first 16 batters before allowing three hits in a span of four hitters in the sixth inning. The right-hander struck out a career-high 10 while allowing two runs and three hits over seven innings in his 20th career start.

"That's a really special performance when you take a perfecto into the sixth inning," Colorado manager Bud Black said.

Pat Neshek, who was acquired in a trade with Philadelphia on Wednesday, pitched a perfect eighth in his Rockies debut. Greg Holland, who was activated from the paternity list Saturday, completed a 1-2-3 ninth for his 32nd save in 33 tries.

Marquez won his fourth consecutive start. He also joined teammates Kyle Freeland and Antonio Senzatela as the only rookies in the majors with at least nine victories this season.

"He had great stuff going tonight," Nationals catcher Matt Wieters said. "He had a curveball that was really sharp. It was tough. He was able to throw it for strikes early and then throw a hard one below. He got rolling there the first time through the lineup."

Harper went 0 for 4 to end his 19-game hitting streak. Tanner Roark (8-7) labored through five innings, allowing four runs and five hits with four walks.

"He was wild wide off the plate," Washington manager Dusty Baker said. "Every time he tried to go away, it'd be off the plate."

Story hit a two-run drive to right-center in the second for his 15th homer this season. Gerardo Parra and Mark Reynolds added consecutive RBI doubles in the fifth.

Marquez struck out Adam Lind to open the sixth. Wieters then poked a single to left to break up Marquez's bid for a perfect game and pinch hitter Howie Kendrick, making his Washington debut a day after he was acquired in a trade with Philadelphia, doubled.

Wilmer Difo got Washington on the board with a two-run single, but Harper struck out to end the threat.

Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, Daniel Murphy, Anthony Rendon and Lind, the Nationals' Nos. 3-7 hitters, each entered the night hitting at least .317. They combined to go 0 for 16.

"To hold this lineup that they have to what he did tonight, he obviously had electric stuff throwing 98, 99," Reynolds said. "He was dotting his slider and curveball and threw his changeup when he had to. He was impressive."

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Whoa. Dusty Baker not returning as Nationals' manager. What comes next?

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Whoa. Dusty Baker not returning as Nationals' manager. What comes next?

The Washington Nationals announced Friday Dusty Baker will not return as manager of the club in 2018. 

Baker led the team to the first back-to-back division titles in franchise history, and the Nationals were 192-132 under Baker, but they failed to make it to an NLCS.

Baker is 14th in MLB history with 1,863 career wins.

The next Nationals' manager will be their seventh since they arrived in DC.

Only the Marlins have had as many.

"I'm surprised and disappointed," Baker told USA TODAY Sports. "They told me they would get back to me and I told them I was leaving town yesterday and they waited 10 days to tell me."

"I really thought this was my best year. We won at least 95 games each year and won the division back to back years but they said they wanted to go a different direction. It's hard to understand." 

The team also announced the contracts for the Major League coaching staff have also expired, and the search for a new manager will begin immediately.

RELATED: BRYCE HARPER THANKS NATIONALS' FANS FOR SUPPORT

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Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy undergoes successful knee surgery

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Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy undergoes successful knee surgery

While Nats fans were still digesting the news that Dusty Baker will not return as manager next year, the team released some more surprising news. 

Second baseman Daniel Murphy underwent knee surgery today, per an official team report. 

Washington Post reporter Chelsea Janes reported that the surgery is considered significant and the team won't put a timeline on the recovery process:

"The procedure, according to the statement released by the team, repaired articular cartilage in Murphy’s right knee. For those interested in the details, it was a debridement and microfracture surgery, and orthopedic surgeon Timothy Kremchek performed it."

"For those concerned with the implications of the procedure, those are still unclear. The statement clarified that Murphy’s rehab “will progress throughout the offseason,” as one would hope, and did not include a timetable.

RELATED: HARPER THANKS FANS FOR SUPPORT