DENVER (AP) — The playoff-bound Colorado Rockies are headed to Los Angeles for a tiebreaking game to decide the NL West title after routing the Washington Nationals 12-0 on Sunday behind Charlie Blackmon’s cycle.
Tied atop the division with the Dodgers entering the last day, the Rockies won for the ninth time in 10 games, while Los Angeles routed San Francisco 15-0 to send the season to game 163.
The one-game tiebreaker will be Monday at Dodger Stadium, and the loser goes to the Chicago Cubs or Milwaukee for Tuesday’s wild-card game.
Nolan Arenado hit two of the Rockies’ five homers and took over the National League lead with 37, one more than teammate Trevor Story — who also went deep. David Dahl homered for the sixth time in seven games.
Colorado (91-71), is trying for its first division title.
Blackmon finished off his first career cycle and the ninth in Rockies history with a double in the eighth. He tripled in the first, homered in the third, singled in the fifth and struck out in the sixth.
Tyler Anderson (7-9) didn’t look the least bit bothered by a sore shoulder that sidelined him for about a week. He scattered four hits over 7 2/3 inninhs for his first win since July 4.
Arenado got the Rockies rolling in the first, with a two-run shot off Erick Fedde (2-4), who was starting after the Nationals elected to skip NL Cy Young Award candidate Max Scherzer. Blackmon added a two-run drive in the third.
Fedde lasted four innings and gave up four runs in place of Scherzer, who wound up with an MLB-best 300 strikeouts.
The Rockies went 19-9 in September, marking the second-most wins in the month in franchise history. The team record is 20 in 2007, when the Rockies made a late surge and beat San Diego in a play-in game to climb into the postseason. They used the momentum to propel them all the way to their only World Series appearance, where they were swept by Boston.
Before the game, Story said he planned to do sneak peeks at the large scoreboard in right field to see how the Dodgers were faring. It wasn’t pretty, as Los Angeles scored early and often.
Late in the game, the fans chanted “Beat LA! Beat LA! Beat LA!” The only cheer louder was the one Anderson received when he was taken out.
Anderson appeared iffy for this start after complaining of shoulder soreness that led him to be bumped from his outing last Monday. He steadily progressed throughout the week.
The left-hander was 0-6 with a 6.08 ERA over his past 13 starts. But he found his command and worked out of trouble courtesy of three double plays.
Arenado and Story hit back-to-back homers in the seventh to help the Rockies earn their 91st win of the season, which is the second-most in team history. The record is 92 turned in by the 2009 team.
The Nationals (82-80) finished with a winning record for a seventh straight season.
HARPER’S FINAL NATS AT-BAT?
Soon-to-be free agent Bryce Harper doubled in potentially his final at-bat in a Nationals uniform. He was 2 for 4 with two doubles.
Asked if Harper remains in the team’s plans, general manager Mike Rizzo said: “Of course he is in our plans. He’s a guy that we would love to have.”
Nationals: Open the 2019 season on March 28 against the New York Mets at Nationals Park.
Rockies: RHP German Marquez (14-10, 3.76 ERA) figures to get the start Monday in Los Angeles.
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