Rockies can't hold lead and lose 4-3 to Nationals

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 2, 2014 at 10:29 pm •  Published: July 2, 2014
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Colorado manager Walt Weiss watched rookie pitcher Tyler Matzek battle the surging Washington Nationals on even terms into the seventh inning Wednesday night.

It was a good showing that went for naught when Weiss went to his bullpen.

After a replay review, Ian Desmond's solo homer off reliever Matt Belisle in the seventh inning provided the go-ahead run and the Nationals rallied from a three-run deficit for a 4-3 win over the Rockies and a sweep of the three-game series.

Matzek went 6 1-3 innings, allowing three runs on six hits in his fifth start. He struck out six and walked one.

"Honestly, when he started the game he didn't have his best command, best breaking stuff. He has lights out breaking stuff so he made some good adjustments," Weiss said.

"I think it was the fifth inning he started getting on top of his slider and started throwing his breaking ball with more angle and we utilized his changeup, which is his fourth best pitch, a lot more today."

Michael McKenry hit a three-run homer for Colorado, which has lost 14 of 16 and finished its road trip 1-6.

Matzek struck out the final three batters he faced — the last being left-hander Bryce Harper - before Weiss brought Belisle (2-4) in to face the right-handed Desmond.

"I think (Matzek) got stronger as the game went on, but he was in uncharted territory," Weiss said. "He's a young guy that probably hasn't thrown more than 90, 95 pitches in the game."

Desmond's hit appeared to bounce off the top of the wall in right center, then off the railing in front of the first row and onto the field.

"I was just wondering what I was going to do if they messed it up," he said, "and luckily they didn't."

After a review that took 3:42, Desmond was given his 15th homer.

"It was a breaking ball that was up and out over, and Desmond got the barrel to it," Weiss said.

Jayson Werth also homered for Washington, which has won a season-high five straight.

Washington's Doug Fister (7-2) allowed three runs on seven hits over seven innings.

Rafael Soriano pitched the ninth for his 20th save.