Rockies 5, Nationals 1

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The Rockies have been counting on some inexperienced arms in their quest for an NL playoff spot.

Ubaldo Jimenez showed the team again Saturday night that he can be trusted to do his part.

Jimenez allowed three hits over seven innings and Brad Hawpe hit his career-high 23rd home run to help the Rockies beat the Washington Nationals 5-1 on Saturday night.

"This guys is making his way in a very calming fashion," Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. "He has slowed things down and shown a lot of poise and confidence."

Jimenez (3-2) fanned four and walked two in his third consecutive stellar outing. In his last three starts, he's allowed one run and 10 hits in 20 innings.

"They have a chance to have a very good pitcher at this level," Washington manager Manny Acta said about Jimenez. "That's terrific stuff when you can pitch a whole game in the mid-90s with that curve, a changeup and a slider. Four pitches in a kid that young."

With the win, the Rockies remained 4 1/2 games behind the San Diego Padres in the wild-card race. Colorado also moved back into a tie with Los Angeles for third in the NL West.

Jimenez, who joined the rotation when Rodrigo Lopez, Aaron Cook and Jason Hirsh were lost to injuries, was also able to make an in-game adjustment.

"I threw more sliders because my curve ball wasn't any good," Jimenez said. "My slider got me strikeouts and groundballs when they were looking for fastballs."

Troy Tulowitzki homered -- his 18th -- and scored two runs. Matt Holliday had two hits and drove in his 100th run of the year. It's Holliday's second straight 100-RBI season.

Tim Redding (3-4) lasted four plus innings in his shortest outing of the season, giving up five runs and six hits and walking five. Redding had won his previous two starts.

Felipe Lopez doubled to lead off the game, stole third and scored on Nook Logan's ground out to give Washington a 1-0 lead. The Nationals had only three more hits the entire game.

Tulowitzki homered into the Colorado bullpen in right field to tie the game at 1 in the bottom half of the inning.

"I sat on a fastball on 3-2," Tulowitzki said. "There's nothing else to look for in that situation and I got it."

Jimenez worked out of a jam in the fourth inning. Dmitri Young led off with a single and Austin Kearns drew a walk. Jimenez struck out Wily Mo Pena and retired Ronnie Belliard and Brian Schneider to end the inning.

Hawpe homered just inside the left field foul pole in left in the fourth inning. The blast followed a one-out single by Garrett Atkins and gave Colorado a 3-1 lead.

"It was a four seam fastball that was down in the outside corner of the plate," Redding said. "As much as I hate to do it, I have to tip my cap there."

Redding didn't retire anyone in the fifth inning and left after allowing an RBI single to Holliday and walking Atkins with the bases loaded to force in a second run and make it 5-1. Chris Schroder replaced Redding and retired the side without any further damage.

"Tim didn't throw strikes," Acta said of Redding. "And this is the wrong place to pitch behind in the count."


: RHP Jason Bergmann will join the Nationals in Los Angeles and be activated from the DL in time to make Tuesday's start against the Dodgers. ... Schroder retired all nine he faced and struck out five in three innings of relief. ... RHP Aaron Cook (strained left oblique muscle) will throw a simulated game Tuesday in San Francisco. ... Holliday has a 15-game hitting streak, and made two sliding catches in short left field. ... Tulowitzki has a 10-game hitting streak.