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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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Nats prospect update: Three minor-leaguers sent to Kansas City for Kelvin Herrera

Nats prospect update: Three minor-leaguers sent to Kansas City for Kelvin Herrera

The biggest story in Nationals prospects this week is the three Washington lost to the Royals in return for closer Kelvin Herrera. Here’s a look at what the Nationals gave up to add more depth to the bullpen.

Kelvin Gutierrez, AA 3B

The infielder, formerly on the Nationals’ 40-man roster, has posted a .285/.344/.388 line through his six-season minor league tenure. One of his greatest strengths is his speed, with 55 career stolen bases and 14 extra-base hits this season. His other notable tool is his powerful arm strength, which may help explain his transition from shortstop to the hot corner.

Blake Perkins, High A OF

The Nationals chose outfielder Blake Perkins in the second round of the 2015 draft. He has quite a bit of room to improve at the plate, batting .234/.344/.290 this season in Hagerstown. However, what he lacks offensively, he makes up for in the outfield. According to Baseball America’s Kyle Glaser, Perkins has “plus speed, mature instincts, excellent routes and an above-average arm.”

Yohanse Morel, RHP

The biggest wild card of the group, Morel is a 17-year-old outfielder-turned-pitcher from the Dominican Republic. His fastball reaches 95 mph and he certainly has huge potential for growth. He has not yet pitched in the U.S. since making his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League in early June.

So, what did the Nationals gain?

Right-handed closer Kelvin Herrera is a two-time All-Star who is currently in the midst of a stellar season. In his Nats debut, he needed just six pitches to shut down the Orioles in the eight. The team is reportedly (and understandably) thrilled to have Herrera joining the roster. Adam Eaton said, "I'm so happy he's here and he's on my team and I don't have to face him anytime in the near future."

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Orioles weather long rain delay in 3-0 win over Nationals

Orioles weather long rain delay in 3-0 win over Nationals

WASHINGTON -- The rain was heavy and relentless. As the puddles grew deeper on the tarp at Nationals Park, the Baltimore Orioles were left to wonder if their bid for a rare road victory would be thwarted by, of all things, the weather.

During a season in which very little has worked in their favor, the Orioles withstood a long rain delay to beat the Washington Nationals 3-0 Wednesday night.

Baltimore led 2-0 after four innings when play was stopped. After a wait of 2 hours, 43 minutes, the game resumed with a few hundred fans from the announced crowd of 32,153 sprinkled around the lower seating bowl.

Mark Trumbo homered for Baltimore, and Andrew Cashner and four relievers combined on a five-hitter in a game that ended long after midnight.

"It was nice," Trumbo said. "I'm glad that we actually kept the game going. Had we not been able to, it might have been a wash. But it ended up being pretty big for us."

Baltimore ended a six-game losing streak to Washington that began last May, won for only the fourth time in 20 games and improved the majors' worst road record to 10-28.

This one was worth the wait.

"It's never easy, especially when you get over the hour mark, two-hour mark," Trumbo said. "Then you have to restart. It's almost two games in one, so, great job by our guys tonight."

The Nationals managed only two hits following the delay, both in the ninth inning.

"It happens. You can't do anything about the rain," manager Dave Martinez said. "You've got to come out and get yourself ready to play. I'm not going to make any excuses."

The rain delay cut short a solid pitching performance by Cashner, who allowed three hits and no walks over four innings in his return from an 11-day stay on the disabled list with back spasms.

Miguel Castro (2-2) followed with two hitless innings, Darren O'Day pitched a perfect seventh and Zach Britton got four outs.

Brad Brach allowed the Nationals to load the bases with two outs in the ninth before striking out Mark Reynolds .

Trumbo hit a two-run homer in the second inning off Gio Gonzalez (6-4), and for a while it appeared the drive would be washed out by the rain.

"One pitch. That was the whole game," Gonzalez lamented. "That was it."

Indeed, it all ended well for the Orioles, who added a run in the sixth when Adam Jones doubled off Shawn Kelley and scored on a sacrifice fly by Danny Valencia .

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