DENVER (AP) – Ross Ohlendorf pitched six strong innings in his Washington debut, Ian Desmond drove in three runs and the Nationals beat the Colorado Rockies 5-1 Wednesday night.
The win was the Nationals’ third in their last 12 road games.
Recalled earlier in the day from Triple-A Syracuse, Ohlendorf (1-0) allowed one run on two hits in his first start since last Aug. 17 against San Francisco while with San Diego.
Signed by Washington over the winter as a minor league free agent, Ohlendorf became the eighth different starting pitcher used by the Nationals this season, matching their total for all of last season. Starters Stephen Strasburg and Ross Detwiler remain on the disabled list.
Desmond extended his hitting streak to a career-high 14 games with an RBI single in the fourth to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead.
The Nationals struck for three more in the sixth and chased Rockies starter Jorge De la Rosa (7-4), beating him for the first time in their past five meetings.
De La Rosa, who has been dealing with a nagging cut on the middle finger of his pitching hand, went 5 1-3 innings and allowed three runs on four hits. He struck out five and walked three. De La Rosa had gone 3-0 with a 4.44 ERA in his previous four starts against the Nationals.
Jeff Kobernus began Washington’s burst with a one-out walk in the sixth and Ryan Zimmerman doubled to the wall in deep left-center, scoring Kobernus.
Left fielder Carlos Gonzalez and center fielder Dexter Fowler both converged on Zimmerman’s drive, banging into each other as Fowler jumped at the wall. The ball dribbled on to the ground and Fowler threw it back in. Both players, though shaken up, remained in the game.
Adam Ottavino relieved De La Rosa and Wilin Rosario replaced catcher Yorvit Torrealba in a double switch. One out later, Adam LaRoche was walked intentionally and took second on a wild pitch before Desmond singled up the middle, scoring Zimmerman and LaRoche.
Gonzalez tripled in a run for Colorado in the bottom of the sixth but Washington got it back in the eighth on an RBI double by Anthony Rendon, who has a hit in seven straight games.
NOTES: Nationals C Wilson Ramos re-injured his left hamstring running first-to-third drills two days ago at the club’s facility in Viera, Fla. Manager Davey Johnson termed it a slight setback but said it would be “a long shot” for Ramos to return before the All-Star break. … The Nationals made room for Ohlendorf by optioning RHP Nathan Karns to Double-A Harrisburg. … The Rockies announced prior to the game that they had signed their top draft pick, Oklahoma pitcher Jonathan Gray. The third overall selection in last week’s draft, Gray is the highest draft pick so far to sign with his team. … OF Eric Young Jr. was designated for assignment by the Rockies, and RHP Chris Volstad recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs. … OF Michael Cuddyer missed a fifth straight game for the Rockies because of a right ribcage strain but is expected to return for Thursday’s series finale against Washington.
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