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Rockies spoil Fedde's debut as Nats drop the first game of the doubleheader

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USA TODAY Sports

Rockies spoil Fedde's debut as Nats drop the first game of the doubleheader

WASHINGTON -- Charlie Blackmon had four hits and scored four runs and the Colorado Rockies roughed up Erick Fedde in his major league debut, beating the Washington Nationals 10-6 on Sunday in the opener of a day-night doubleheader.

Blackmon had four singles, while DJ LeMahieu had three hits, including two doubles, and scored twice. Nolan Arenado added three hits and two RBIs.

Fedde (0-1) allowed 10 hits and seven runs -- five earned -- in four innings while striking out three.

The 2014 first-round selection loaded the bases in the first inning before recording his first out on Gerardo Parra's double-play groundout that scored Blackmon. Ramiel Tapia's single scored LeMahieu one batter later and Colorado led 2-0 after the first inning.

Kyle Freeland (11-7) went five innings, allowing nine hits and four runs while striking out four.

Ryan Zimmerman hit two home runs and Wilmer Difo also homered for Washington. Both finished with three hits.

Fedde settled down in the second by striking out the side but struggled with the top of the Rockies' order in the third and fourth innings before exiting the game with the Nationals trailing 7-4. Colorado scored at least two runs in three of the four innings Fedde pitched.

Zimmerman had a three-run homer in the third inning and a solo shot in the seventh. He has 24 homers this season and his four RBIs left him tied for the most in franchise history with Tim Wallach, who played with the Montreal Expos from 1980-92.

Arenado tripled in Blackmon in the eighth while Ryan Hanigan had an RBI double in the ninth.

Greg Holland picked up his 33rd save.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rockies: LHP Jake McGee (mid-back strain) was placed on the 10-day DL retroactive to July 27. "Jake's been feeling it for a few days. In St. Louis it started bothering him a little bit . when he was warming up yesterday he felt it again," said manager Bud Black. Colorado recalled LHP Zac Rosscup from Triple-A Albuquerque. He has allowed one run in 3 2/3 innings this season for the Rockies and Chicago Cubs.

UP NEXT

Rockies: RHP Jon Gray (3-1, 5.84) is 1-1 with a 7.65 ERA in five starts on the road this season.

Nationals: RHP Edwin Jackson (1-1, 4.76) makes his second home start since returning to Washington. Jackson is 1-4 with a 10.80 ERA against the Rockies.

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Murphy's big hit helps Nats beat Mets 6-1

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USA TODAY Sports

Murphy's big hit helps Nats beat Mets 6-1

Daniel Murphy and Trea Turner each hit a two-run single in Washington's five-run seventh inning, helping the Nationals beat the New York Mets 6-1 on Sunday.

Matt Adams added two hits and scored a run as Washington salvaged a split of its four-game set against New York. A preseason favorite to win the NL East and contend for a World Series championship, the disappointing Nationals hit the All-Star break with a 48-48 record, good for third in the division.

Jeremy Hellickson (4-1) pitched six crisp innings in his second straight win. The veteran right-hander allowed one run and two hits, struck out six and walked two.

Jose Reyes drove in Michael Conforto with a fielder's choice in the second, tying it at 1, but Washington grabbed control in the seventh.

Juan Soto and Anthony Rendon opened the inning with walks against Anthony Swarzak (0-2). Tim Peterson then came in and surrendered singles to Adams and Murphy, who came off the bench to hit for Michael A. Taylor.

Jerry Blevins replaced Peterson with two out and runners on second and third. But he hit Wilmer Difo and Adam Eaton before Turner's single gave Washington a 6-1 lead.

New York wasted a solid start by Corey Oswalt, who allowed two hits in five innings. The Mets got off to a fast start this year, but hit the break last in the division with a 39-55 record, a percentage point behind fourth-place Miami.

WAITING

A steady drizzle delayed the start by 47 minutes.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (right shoulder inflammation) pitched 5 2/3 innings in a rehab start for Class A Potomac. He allowed three runs, struck out seven and walked one. Strasburg has been on the disabled list since June 10.

Mets: Yoenis Cespedes is scheduled to play five simulated innings in left field at the team's facility in Florida on Monday. Mets manager Mickey Callaway said the 32-year-old outfielder, who has been sidelined by a right hip flexor and strained quadriceps, could return as the designated hitter next weekend against the Yankees If he is able to play on consecutive days.

MAKING MOVES

The Nationals recalled right-hander Trevor Gott from Triple-A Syracuse. Right-hander Austin Voth, who took the loss in his big league debut Saturday, was sent back to Syracuse.

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Taking a look at the numbers behind the Nationals' three All-Stars

Taking a look at the numbers behind the Nationals' three All-Stars

With a win on Sunday afternoon, the Nationals come into the All-Star break at 48-48. 

That's not great! It's certainly an underperformance given all the expectations, but the season hasn't been without some stellar individual performances . 

Take, for starters, Max Scherzer. Scherzer's on pace to have an even better year than his 2017 Cy Young-winning effort, which is mind-boggling. 

An even-more-refined command is what's made him better this season, as his walk rate is down below seven percent again after creeping up to 7.1 last year. It hasn't affected his strikeout rate, either, which has stayed steady at 34 percent. If the season ended today, it'd be the 4th straight year where he set a career-best in that department. 

Of all starting pitchers, he ranks second in WHIP, and K/BB percent. He has the third-lowest average against (.178) and third-best strikeout percentage (34.5). He's got a top-10 ERA and FIP as well. He's been the best pitcher in baseball this season, and will probably be in the conversation for N.L. MVP as well. 

If only the Nats could just go from Scherzer to Doolittle. The closer stopped walking people, too, and already has 22 saves after ending last year with 24. Had he not been put on the D.L. with a toe injury about a week before the All-Star game, he more than likely would have set his career high in saves before the break. 

He's currently on pace to post the second-best year of his career when it comes to strikeouts, too. He's getting Ks 37.1 percent of the time, which would be the highest since he posted a 37.7 in 2014. Same goes for his K/9. He also has a top-10 ERA and FIP. He's been one of the few relief pitchers that have been consistently reliable through the first half, and the Nats will need his toe to get real healthy real quick. 

And lastly there's Bryce Harper, who you've surely heard is not having an All-Star caliber season. His batting average is hovering around .200, he's striking out more than he has in four years, and he's getting eaten alive by the shift. He's also on pace to have one of his best power-hitting seasons ever and finish with close to 40 home runs, so even his bad years still find a way to be impressive. 

Harper also benefits from being one of the faces of baseball playing in front of his home fans. He's one of the most popular players in the league, and All-Star games find a way to get those people in. An All-Star game in D.C. without him would be objectively less enjoyable, so it was in everyone's interest to have him there. Stars just get the calls sometimes. 

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