Rockies’ Márquez too much for Nats this time in 4-2 setback

The Nationals faced off against a hot pitcher in German Márquez and lost to Colorado 4-2.

There was a big chance for the Nats to get back in the game in the sixth with their newest hitter Howie Kendrick in the middle of the rally, but it fell a little bit short.

wilmer-difo-bat-white.jpgKendrick’s pinch-hit double and a two-run single by Wilmer Difo were the highlights for the Nats, but the night belonged to Márquez and the Rockies bullpen.

Márquez struck out a career-high 10 and did not allow a hit or a base runner through five innings. Márquez has now struck out 28 batters in his last three starts and has won four consecutive decisions overall.

He shut down the Nats, especially their vaunted No. 3 through No. 6 hitters in the lineup that combined to go 0-for-13 with four strikeouts.

Far different result than the last time the Nats faced Márquez. On April 25 in Denver, the Nats pounded out nine hits and tallied eight runs off of the right-hander, highlighted by a three-run triple by Daniel Murphy and a two-run double by Trea Turner in the second inning of a 15-12 victory.

“He had a very good breaking ball tonight,” Baker said. “He was throwing it over for strikes early and then late he was bouncing it. He was getting strike one. He had pretty good command of his fastball which is high velocity fastball. He threw the ball great tonight. Nothing against our hitters. He was dealing tonight.”

Matt Wieters had the first base hit for the Nats in the sixth inning after Márquez (9-4) had retired 16 batters in a row to start the game.

“(Márquez) had great stuff going to day,” Wieters said. “He had a curveball that was really tough. He was able to throw strikes early and throw a hard one even below. He got rolling there the first time through the lineup. He was throwing upper 90’s mph with a good breaking ball and he was locating pretty well.

“We’re able to scratch a couple off. Bullpen did a great job keeping us there. We just couldn’t quite get enough off their bullpen.”

Trevor Story smacked a two-run shot and back-to-back doubles by Gerardo Parra and Mark Reynolds was all the offense the Rockies needed off of Nats starter Tanner Roark to pull off the win.

“I felt like that’s how I do it all the time,” Roark said. “That’s just how I pitch. I’d like to be better at it but I don’t mind getting behind 2-0, 1-0, whatever. I have four pitches I could throw for strikes and I’m not afraid to throw them in any count. The walks definitely hurt today but overall I felt pretty good.”

Roark (8-7) lasted five innings, surrendering four runs on five hits with four walks, one intentional and struck out eight. He threw 109 pitches, 66 for strikes.

The Nats were held to three hits and two runs with just one extra-base hit. Greg Holland came on in the ninth for a 1-2-3 frame, his 32nd save of the season.

Sammy Solís, Matt Albers and Oliver Pérez combined to throw four scoreless innings for the Nats bullpen.

The Nats are allowed to add a 26th man to their roster for Sunday’s doubleheader. Baker said they spent 10 minutes after the game discussing the move but had not yet decided which player from Triple-A would take that spot.

“We’re still trying to decide who that 26th man is because that 26th man can’t stay after tomorrow,” Baker said. “We got Kendrick today so that’s another roster spot that has to be taken. We have some very tough decisions to make.”

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