Rockies 10, Nationals 5

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
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Matt Holliday homered, doubled and drove in three runs, and the Colorado Rockies finished off a sweep of the Washington Nationals with a 10-5 win on Sunday.

Elmer Dessens (2-1) gave up a run and three hits in six innings for his first Colorado win, and the Rockies moved within 31/2 games of the San Diego Padres in the NL wild-card race.

The Rockies finished off a seven game homestand against Pittsburgh and Washington, two teams well under .500, at 4-3. They head out for a six-game road trip to San Francisco and NL West-leading Arizona on Monday.

Holliday and Todd Helton had three hits each, and Troy Tulowitzki drove in three runs for the Rockies. Chris Iannetta, called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs late Saturday night, went 2-for-5 with an RBI in his return.

Dessens helped himself at the plate, walking twice and scoring on Kaz Matsui's two-run double in the third inning to go along with his best start with Colorado. In his previous two starts for the Rockies, he lasted 4 2/3 innings.

After giving up a run in the first inning, Dessens found a groove, retiring 15 of the next 17 batters, including the last 10 he faced. It was Dessens' first win as a starter since April 25, 2004, with Arizona against San Diego.

The Rockies sent 11 batters to the plate in the third inning and scored six runs, highlighted by Holliday's 24th homer of the season, a two-run shot that made it 9-1 and chased starter Joel Hanrahan.

All 10 Colorado runs were scored with two outs.

Hanrahan (3-2) struggled to find the strike zone in the second inning, leading to two Rockies runs. Hanrahan walked the bases loaded, and Tulowitzki singled home Ryan Spilborghs. Hanrahan walked Holliday to make it 3-1, but he escaped further damage when he got Todd Helton to foul out on a 3-2 count.

Ryan Church and Austin Kearns tried to rally the Nationals after Ramon Ortiz relieved Dessens. Church hit a two-run homer in the seventh and Kearns had a two-run double in the eighth that made it 9-5. Kearns was stranded at second when reliever Matt Herges got Church to fly out to right field to end the eighth.

Ryan Zimmerman gave the Nationals a 1-0 lead with a two-out, solo home run in the first inning. The Rockies tied it in the bottom of the inning on Helton's two-out single that scored Holliday from second base.

Notes: Zimmerman's 21 home runs are a career high. ... Holliday extended his hit streak to 16 games - a career best - with a double in the first inning. His is the longest current hitting streak in the majors. ... Tulowitzki's single in the second inning gives him a career-high 11-game hitting streak. ... Helton has a .394 career average against the Nationals/Montreal Expos organization.

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