WASHINGTON -- Charlie Blackmon and the rest of the Colorado Rockies had a definitive strategy to attack Stephen Strasburg, a three-time All-Star who can overpower almost any lineup.The goal was to make him work by stringing together hits and earning some walks to hopefully get into the Nationals' bullpen.Blackmon executed
WASHINGTON -- Charlie Blackmon and the rest of the Colorado Rockies had a definitive strategy to attack Stephen Strasburg, a three-time All-Star who can overpower almost any lineup.
The goal was to make him work by stringing together hits and earning some walks to hopefully get into the Nationals' bullpen.
Blackmon executed the game plan perfectly, hitting a home run and finishing with three RBIs in the 6-5 victory on Jackie Robinson Day to take three of four games in the series. Ian Desmond had the biggest hit of the day with a game-winning solo homer in the ninth inning.
"What a great game to win," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "We're excited about this one. We feel good about our team and we know how good [the Nationals] are. They know we're good too. It was a good series for us that we came out with three out of four. We know we have to continue to play well no matter who we play. This was a good test for both teams."
Bryce Harper hit his league-leading seventh home run for Washington.
Strasburg was masterful as he retired 11 in a row before allowing the homer to Blackmon that tied the game 1-1 in the fourth. Strasburg then struggled with his commed as his pitch count rose. Colorado took advantage by scoring three times in the sixth when Blackmon hit a two-out, two-RBI double and Carlos Gonzalez followed with a single.
Blackmon also homered off Max Scherzer the previous night.
"I think home runs are the best way to score runs," Blackmon said. "It's not indicative of sustainable success maybe. So, I would like to see some more good at-bats, singles, doubles, walks, that kind of thing. But I'll take a homer any day."
Rockies left-hander Tyler Anderson battled through 4 2/3 innings. He allowed three runs (one earned) and two hits with six strikeouts and six walks on 94 pitches.
DJ LeMahieu hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning off Washington right-hander Shawn Kelley, but a wild pitch by Rockies reliever Adam Ottavino allowed Michael A. Taylor to score from third and tie the game at 5. However, Desmond responded with the biggest hit of the game.
"It's really one of those fortunate [but also unfortunate] endings," Desmond said about beating his former team. "DJ and Charlie did such a really, really good job against some really good pitching. Obviously, you want the light to shine on them. Those guys basically carried me and the team."
You Gotta See This
LeMahieu had a nifty grab on a sharp grounder by Moises Sierra in the second inning. LeMahieu then flipped the ball to shortstop Trevor Story, who completed the 4-6-3 double play. Anderson struck out Taylor for the final out, stranding Howie Kendrick at third.
He Said It
"I am going to say that's not going to happen again … for any team." Black on winning the game despite allowing 10 walks.
Blackmon has hit all six of his homers on the road this season. Ian Stewart in 2010 was the last Rockies player to hit his first six homers on the road, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
The Rockies travel to Pittsburgh, where snow fell over the weekend. German Marquez (0-1, 4.97 ERA) will start the opener of the three-game series Monday. Marquez was ejected in his last start for participating in a bench-clearing melee that erupted in the third inning against the Padres. The Pirates will counter with left-hander Steven Brault (2-0, 3.46 ERA).
Todd Karpovich is a contributor to MLB.com based in Washington, D.C.