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Desmond's 9th-inning homer leads Rockies past Nationals

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Desmond's 9th-inning homer leads Rockies past Nationals

WASHINGTON  -- Ian Desmond hit a tiebreaking, two-out homer in the ninth inning against his former team, Charlie Blackmon drove in three runs and the Colorado Rockies rallied to beat the Nationals 6-5 on Sunday, ending a dispiriting homestand for Washington.

After Sean Doolittle (0-1) struck out Carlos Gonzalez and Gerardo Parra to open the ninth, Desmond sent a belt-high, 3-2 fastball over the 402-foot sign in straightaway center as Colorado took three out of four in its only visit to Washington:

Desmond played his first seven seasons in the majors for the Nationals, through 2015. He became an All-Star shortstop and hit 110 home runs with Washington.

Bryce Harper hit his big league-leading seventh home run for Washington, connecting in the first and pausing to admire his deep drive to right-center.

Blackmon did his damage against the otherwise stingy Stephen Strasburg. His two-out homer in the fourth was the Rockies' first hit off Strasburg, who retired the first 11 batters. In the sixth, Blackmon squeezed a grounder past first baseman Ryan Zimmerman into the right-field corner to score two runs and tie the game at 3. Gonzalez followed with a single against the shift to score Blackmon.

Adam Ottavino (3-0) got the win despite being rattled by the speedy Michael A. Taylor. After Taylor doubled down the left-field line with two outs in the eighth, he stole third easily. Then he bluffed stealing home to get Ottavino's attention.

On the next pitch, Taylor danced a third of the way down the baseline and Ottavino distractedly threw a wild pitch, allowing Taylor to race home.

Wade Davis worked the ninth for his seventh save in eight opportunities.

The Nationals won just three times in their 10-game homestand and are 3-9 since starting the season 4-0. Washington did not get a hit with a runner on base, and three of its runs came on miscues by Colorado. Cleanup hitter Ryan Zimmerman went 0 for 5, grounding out to short with Harper on first base to end the game, and his average dropped to .122.

Rockies starter Tyler Anderson was pulled with two outs in the fifth after allowing his sixth walk. Antonio Senzatela came on and his 2-1 pitch, an inside fastball to Zimmerman, got past catcher Chris Iannetta. Taylor scored on the passed ball and Trea Turner also scored after Iannetta's throw sailed over Senzatela's head for an error.

Matt Wieters homered in the sixth to tie it for Washington. DJ LeMahieu put the Rockies ahead 5-4 in the eighth with a homer to right-center off Shawn Kelley, the second homer the right-hander has allowed in 5 2/3 innings this season. Kelley allowed a dozen long balls in 26 innings in 2017.

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A quick recap of Tuesday's MLB All-Star Game, including how your Nats did

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USA TODAY Sports

A quick recap of Tuesday's MLB All-Star Game, including how your Nats did

Tuesday evening's All-Star game was fairly uneventful until its later innings. The American League triumphed over the National League, 8 - 6, for their sixth straight All-Star game victory.

Despite fears of potential rain and inclement weather delaying the game, there were no unexpected stops in play. 

The AL started very strong offensively, with runs from Aaron Judge and Mike Trout in the top of the second and third innings, respectively. Jean Segura's three-run homer in the top of the eighth made victory look inevitable for the AL by the fifth. 

Max Scherzer, unsurprisingly, was well received among fans at Nationals Park. The Nats starter pitched the first two innings, giving up four hits. One was Judge's second-inning homer, but Scherzer remained unfazed and lighthearted. Four strikeouts made his performance commendable.

Bryce Harper did not get on as well, striking out in both of his at-bats. After Harper's Home Run Derby win last night, there was chatter of him going for the MVP title as well. 

It didn't work out, but given Harper's consistent presence at the All-Star game, there's always another chance.

Elsewhere in the dugout for the NL, who rallied back from the three-run deficit, the kids were all right. Willson Contreras of the Cubs had a solo homer at the bottom of the third, the Rockies' Trevor Story had one in the seventh, and Christian Yelich added another in the eighth. A two-run homer by Scooter Gennett in the bottom of the ninth brought the game back to a 5-5 tie.

Jesus Aguilar struck out for the NL, and extra innings began.

In the top of the tenth, Alex Bregman and George Springer, both of the Astros, hit home runs almost immediately off of Dodgers pitcher Ross Stipling. Stop us if you've heard that one before.

With no outs, Michael Brantley took a sacrifice flyout to right field, and Jean Segura got in one more run to put the score at 8-5.

Though Joey Votto (Reds) hit one last home run in the bottom of the tenth, the NL couldn't quite make up the deficit.

After a late night, the American League will be going home happy.

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2018 MLB All-Star Game Live Blog

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USA TODAY Sports

2018 MLB All-Star Game Live Blog

This is the year's most ambitious crossover event in baseball. Dozens of MLB standouts from dozens of teams ally along either the National or American league. The two teams play against each other in a lighthearted frankensquad matchup. It's a welcome change of pace, considering how stressed we are about the Nationals' win percentage.

At the moment, we're keeping our eyes to the sky to monitor incoming rain. Aside from the threat of rain delay, we're excited to see how things unfold.

TOP 10 - Yikes, uh, so that's two solo home runs, and still no outs?

BOT 9 - A lot of people have either Bad Bunny or Post Malone as their walk up music. Also, uh, Scooter did a two-run homer, so now we're going to extra innings.

TOP 9 - Nothing is happening. Yawn.

BOT 8 - Yelich homers! We love one Brewer! It's 5-3 AL.

TOP 8 - Segura hits a three-run homer. Cruz adds it to his Instagram story. The AL is up 5-2. Yikes.

TOP 8 - Blackmon is very charming when mic'd up. He's talking about how lonely the outfield is. In other adjacent boredom news, Mike Trout follows over 145 weather related accounts on twitter. Yes, we went through his 2,400 user long following list to check.

BOT 7 - Bottoms tend to be the most exciting. Arenado knows this. So he tied it with a solo homer.

TOP 7 - Please, we are all so tired, and this pace is so slow. Votto has a nice tag, Yelich loses a ball in the lights but still makes the out. 

BOT 6 - Everybody Hates The National League. Votto, Yelich, and Blackmon all come up short.

INT 6 - Everyone on the internet and the broadcast loses their minds over Manny Machado.

TOP 6 - Nelson Cruz goes up against pitcher Jeremy Jeffress to start the inning. We take a brief pause for another selfie. Isn't it kind of a bad idea to have your phone in your pocket when you're at bat? Anyway. Bregman hits a double, but is immediately outshined as we go to Manny Machado for an interview about how it feels to wear an Orioles uniform for (maybe) the last time. Limor pinch hits for Machado, and doesn't quite get it out of the park. Oh well.

BOT 5 - Contreras gets a hit off Jose Berrios and promptly gets tagged first. Javier Baez looks amazing at the plate, but flies out. Arenado walks. Trout-man catches Molina's almost-homer. NL, do better please.

TOP 5 - Aaron Nola strikes out Brandon Crawford fairly easily and Mookie Betts not so easily. Mike Trout, who looks like he would post pictures with trout and other fish on Instagram, pops up and across the first base line. Sorry AL.

BOT 4 - Bryce Harper faces Blake Snell and strikes out for the second time tonight. Maybe he thought tonight was a Strikeout Derby?

TOP 4 - Machado pops up to the third baseman in what may be his final at-bat wearing an Orioles uniform.

TOP 4 - Matt Kemp deftly avoids tampering charges when the FOX broadcast crew asks him about his selfie with Machado.

BOT 2 - Manny begins acquainting himself with his LA teammates.

BOT 2 - Chris Sale only stuck around for one inning, apparently. It's Luis Severino time in D.C. He allows a double from Matt Kemp to start but then strikes out Bryce Harper. 

TOP 2 - Aaron Judge takes Scherzer deep. 1-0 AL. Sigh.

BOT 1 - AL Starter Chris Sale responds with a scoreless frame of his own. We're on our way to that 3-2 thriller after all!!! 

TOP 1 - Scherzer strikes out Mookie Betts and Jose Altuve before walking Mike Trout (can't blame him) and allowing a hit to J.D. Martinez. No damage done though, and it's 0-0. 

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