Postgame analysis of the Nats' 6-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night at Coors Field.
How it happened: Mention the names Giancarlo Stanton and Freddie Freeman around Nationals fans and they will cringe. They have absolutely killed the Nats over the years, and on a regular basis, too, as members of the NL East.
He doesn't play in their division, but D.J. LeMahieu may be worthy of their company. The Rockies second baseman followed up his 4-for-4 night on Monday with three hits and a walk on Tuesday, as Colorado snapped the Nats' three-game winning streak.
LeMahieu, in fact, fell just a double short of the cycle. He hit a two-run homer off Gio Gonzalez, part of just three innings for the Nats starter. Gonzalez' night was cut short due to a two hour and five-minute rain delay.
LeMahieu is now batting 28-for-72 (.389) in 20 career games against the Nats. That's the highest batting average he has against any team in the NL. He has raised his season average by 11 points already in this series, from .331 to .342. That pushes him past Wilson Ramos for second among all NL hitters.
When Gonzalez left, the game was tied. But it was all Rockies after they resumed play. They got one run off Yusmeiro Petit in the fifth inning on a Nolan Arenado groundout. Colorado then got three more in the seventh inning off Oliver Perez and Blake Treinen.
The Nats got both of their runs in the third inning. One came in on a groundout by Bryce Harper. The other was on an RBI single by Ramos.
Jayson Werth singled in the third inning to reach base for the 44th straight game and set a new Nationals record with the streak.
What it means: The Nationals will now aim for a series win in the rubber match on Wednesday afternoon. They fell to 70-48 on the year, but the Marlins lost so the Nats remain up 8 1/2 games in the division.
Disaster of a 7th: Perez began the inning after Brian Goodwin pinch-hit for Petit in the previous frame. Perez got the first out, but then gave up a double to Gerardo Parra and a walk to Charlie Blackmon. That brought LeMahieu to the plate and Treinen through the bullpen door.
Treinen finally prevented LeMahieu from getting a hit after he began the series 7-for-7, but it came at the expense of a walk. And that loaded the bases for Arenado, who brought in a run on his sacrifice fly. Treinen would intentionally walk Carlos Gonzalez to load the bases again, then serve up a two-RBI double to David Dahl. All told, the Rockies scored three runs in the seventh and essentially put the game on ice.
Perez got charged with two of the runs and has now allowed four earned in 2 2/3 innings in the month of August.
Gonzalez gives back the lead: Gonzalez' night was cut short by the rain delay, but he was already running into some trouble and had seen his pitch count soar because of it. Gio made it three innings on 60 pitches with two earned runs allowed on four hits, including LeMahieu's homer. LeMahieu hit a two-run shot to tie the game at 2-2. Gonzalez also gave up doubles to Nick Hundley and Blackmon.
For Gonzalez, his rain-shortened night came at an unfortunate time. He was chasing career win No. 100 and now remains stuck at 99-75.
Werth sets Nats record: Not bad for a 37-year-old, huh? Werth pushed his streak to 44 games on Tuesday, edging Ryan Zimmerman's mark of 43 set in 2009. Werth's streak is the best in Nats history and it matches the second-best mark for the francise. Former Expos outfielder Tim Raines also got on in 44 straight. The record holder is Rusty Staub, who reached in 46 consecutive games back in 1969-70.
Up next: The series finale will be a 3:10 p.m. first pitch with Stephen Strasburg (15-3, 3.07) starting for the Nats and former third overall pick Jon Gray (8-6, 4.55) pitching for Colorado.
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