Blackmon homers off Scherzer in return
Arenado begins serving five-game suspension
WASHINGTON -- It was a good-news, bad-news situation for the Rockies on Saturday, as Charlie Blackmon rejoined the lineup and homered off Nationals starter Max Scherzer after missing four games due to right quad tightness.
Blackmon's first-inning two-run homer was the lone hit off Scherzer as the Rockies fell 6-2 on Saturday at Nationals Park. The center fielder struck out three times in the rest of his at-bats.
Blackmon had been ramping up his activity during the absence, including sprinting in the outfield on Friday, and finally got a clean bill of health from the Rockies training staff after one final check-up.
"He feels good. He's excited to get back on the field," manager Bud Black said. "Physically, he went through the paces the last few days and got better each and every day. [Head trainer] Keith [Dugger] and the training room feels that he's ready, and Charlie feels that he's ready, so we're looking forward to getting him back in there."
Meanwhile third baseman Nolan Arenado will begin serving his five-game suspension for his part in a bench-clearing altercation Wednesday against San Diego.
Arenado had appealed the decision and played in Friday's game, as did teammate Gerardo Parra, who received a four-game suspension. But shortly before Saturday's game against the Nationals, the team announced that Arenado would serve the five-game suspension. Parra remained in the lineup.
Before the game, Black said he didn't have all the information when asked about the status of the suspensions.
"I haven't heard anything, but those things could happen quickly or take a few days. It could be like, as early as the next couple of minutes or the next few days," Black said. "I'm not in the middle of that. I'm not in those conversations with Nolan, his representatives, the players association, the Commissioner's Office. I'm not in that mix."
Arenado, who was slashing .288/.387/.462 with one home run and six RBIs, will miss the final two games against Washington and the team's upcoming three-game series in Pittsburgh. He was replaced in the lineup Saturday by Ryan McMahon.