DENVER -- On a damp and frigid Tuesday night at Coors Field, Trea Turner swung the hottest bat, hitting for the cycle and driving in a career-high seven runs in the Nationals' 15-12 victory over the Rockies. Washington has won eight of its last nine games.Turner singled in the first,
DENVER -- On a damp and frigid Tuesday night at Coors Field, Trea Turner swung the hottest bat, hitting for the cycle and driving in a career-high seven runs in the Nationals' 15-12 victory over the Rockies. Washington has won eight of its last nine games.
Turner singled in the first, doubled in the second, homered in the sixth and tripled in the seventh for the third cycle in Nationals history, and the ninth in the combined history of the Expos and Nationals.
"It was brutally cold, but the bats were hot," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "That was awesome. Especially the hardest one to get, the triple, but if you want a triple, this is the place."
Turner (23 years, 300 days old) is the youngest player to hit for the cycle since Michael Trout (21 years, 287 days) in 2013. Overall, Turner is the 24th youngest, between Hall of Famers Cal Ripken Jr. and Goose Goslin.
• Turner says he was just trying to survive the cold
Carlos Gonzalez hit a solo home run, and Mark Reynolds and Charlie Blackmon each hit his seventh of the season for the Rockies, who pulled to within three runs on doubles by DJ LeMahieu and Nolan Arenado in the fifth. But that was as close as Colorado would get, also drawing to within three on Gerardo Parra's third homer of the season in the ninth.
Neither starter got out of the fifth inning, as the Nationals' Joe Ross, who was pitching at Coors for the first time, and the Rockies' German Marquez (starting in place of the injured Jon Gray) battled the elements and two formidable lineups following a 66-minute rain delay prior to first pitch. The game featured a combined 27 runs and 29 hits.
"It's tough for us on the mound, but it's tough for hitters in the box," Ross said of the conditions. "Everyone says stuff's not going to move as much, and that was kind of the case today, but you gotta make an adjustment. Start a little lower. If you're trying to get off the plate, start a little farther off the plate. I just tried to make adjustments during the game. Luckily we came out on top. A lot of hits going on but we got the win."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Turner's time Turner's career high for RBIs coming into Tuesday's game was three, and he eclipsed that with his two-run homer down the right-field line in the sixth inning. His four-hit night increased his season batting average by 70 points, from .219 to .289. Prior to the Nationals' current road trip, Turner was 3-for-19 (.158). Since, he's 8-for-19 (.421).
"Being at the top of the lineup, I don't get a ton of opportunities to [drive in runs], and when I do get an opportunity, sometimes I try too hard," Turner said. "I wasn't thinking about driving in the runs other than the triple, when I wanted to get the ball to the outfield." More >
Murphy-mania:Daniel Murphy drove in five runs with a first-inning RBI single, a bases-clearing triple to left-center in the second and another RBI single in the fourth. The five RBIs tied his career high; he also had five RBIs against the Cardinals on April 11, and has had five RBIs in a game six times in his career. Murphy is batting .440 (11-for-25) with runners in scoring position this season.
"Murph got some big two-out hits," Baker said. "That's big. I'm glad we tacked on the runs we did, because I'm telling you, this place is known for this."
"That's Coors Field at its finest right there. No lead is safe, no deficit is secure. You just got to keep playing and keep playing -- keep scoring. I've played a lot of games here. You're always nervous. You don't want to take anybody out. You want to give guys rest, but you don't know. A couple walks, a couple hits, homers, and they're back in the game, which they were." -- Baker, on the unpredictable nature of Coors Field baseball
"The second inning, I'm sure [Marquez] would like to have back. Two outs on three pitches, and you have the pitcher up. That's the one he wants back [walk to the pitcher]. And on a number of hitters, he got two strikes, and just couldn't put them away. But it's a learning experience for him. If he gets through that second inning, the whole world changes." -- Rockies manager Bud Black
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Seven of the Nats' first eight runs came with two outs.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
In the seventh inning, the Rockies challenged a call by first-base umpire Marty Foster, who called Zimmerman safe at first on a grounder to third baseman Arenado. After viewing all relevant angles, the Replay Official definitively determined that the ball contacted the interior of Reynolds' glove prior to Zimmerman's foot touching first base, and the call was overturned, resulting in an inning-ending groundout. The play on the field was overturned.
Nationals: Tanner Roark climbs the hill for the Nats at 8:40 p.m. ET on Wednesday after making quality starts in three of his four starts. He gave up his first two home runs of the season in his last start, a no-decision the Nats won against the Mets. He's pitched one inning at Coors Field over the course of his career, allowing one hit while striking out two.
Rockies: The Rockies will send right-hander Tyler Chatwood to the mound against the Nationals on Wednesday night at 6:40 p.m. MT. Chatwood has faced Washington once, in 2013 when he gave up one run on four hits, walking two and striking out four in six innings.
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Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver, and covered the Nationals on Tuesday.