Hampson, Rodgers, Grichuk hit HRs, Rockies beat Nats 9-7

Nationals_Rockies_Baseball_38235 Colorado Rockies' Brendan Rodgers, right, celebrates with C.J. Cron, center, and Randal Grichuk after after hitting a three-run home run in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Thursday, May 5, 2022, in Denver.
Nationals_Rockies_Baseball_18703 Colorado Rockies' Brendan Rodgers hits a three-run home run off Washington Nationals relief pitcher Josh Rogers in the fifth inning of a baseball game Thursday, May 5, 2022, in Denver.
Nationals_Rockies_Baseball_68474 Washington Nationals left fielder Dee Strange-Gordon misses a pop foul off the bat of Colorado Rockies' Garrett Hampson in the sixth inning of a baseball game Thursday, May 5, 2022, in Denver.
Nationals_Rockies_Baseball_74808 Washington Nationals' Maikel Franco follows the flight of his RBI-double off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Robert Stephenson in the seventh inning of a baseball game Thursday, May 5, 2022, in Denver.
Nationals_Rockies_Baseball_89313 Colorado Rockies' Randal Grichuk follows the flight of his solo home run off Washington Nationals relief pitcher Kyle Finnegan in the seventh inning of a baseball game Thursday, May 5, 2022, in Denver.
Nationals_Rockies_Baseball_96522 Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black, left, takes the ball from starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela as he is pulled from the mound after giving up a single to Washington Nationals' Yadiel Hernandez in the fifth inning of a baseball game Thursday, May 5, 2022, in Denver.
Nationals_Rockies_Baseball_83501 Washington Nationals relief pitcher Kyle Finnegan reacts after giving up a solo home run to Colorado Rockies' Randal Grichuk in the seventh inning of a baseball game Thursday, May 5, 2022, in Denver.
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DENVER (AP) — Garrett Hampson and Brendan Rodgers each hit their first home runs of the season — both three-run shots — for the Colorado Rockies in a 9-7 win over the Washington Nationals on Thursday.

Randal Grichuk also homered for the Rockies, who took two of three in the series. Daniel Bard got three outs for his eighth save in nine chances. He has had six consecutive scoreless outings.

“Series wins is what we’re trying to accomplish and to be able to bounce back (after Tuesday’s opening 10-2 loss) was awesome,” Hampson said.

Washington outhit the Rockies 15-10, and Juan Soto and Keibert Ruiz had solo home runs. Maikel Franko added three hits, including an RBI double.

Down 2-0, the Rockies went off on Aaron Sanchez (1-2) for a four-run second inning, ignited by successive doubles from Ryan McMahon and Rodgers. Sam Hilliard reached on a fielding error by shortstop Alcides Escobar, his third error in two days, and Hampson followed with a drive into the left-field bleachers.

Washington had the makings of a big inning in the top of the fifth when César Hernández singled, Soto walked and Josh Bell doubled in a run. But catcher Dom Nunez picked Soto off at third for the first out and after a single by Yadiel Hernandez, Jhoulys Chacin (3-1) came on and got Maikel Franco to ground into an inning-ending double play.

“We got the crooked numbers, four runs in the second and four runs in the fifth,” Hampson said. “But every inning, it seemed like they had something going, so that’s just a credit to our bullpen especially and us on defense making the plays we needed to just kind of limit the big numbers which was in the end the difference in the game.”

The Rockies turned two double plays on the day, increasing their season total to 40, most in the major leagues.

C.J. Cron’s one-out RBI single in the bottom of the fifth chased Sanchez. One out later, Rodgers drove a 1-2 offering from Josh Rogers over the center field fence to boost Colorado’s lead 8-3.

“I thought Sanchez gave us a chance to win, one bad mistake and another mistake by Rogers,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “Two costly mistakes. We hit the ball well. We had our chances. Double plays killed us again a little bit.”

Ruiz homered to lead off the sixth and Franco and Ruiz had RBI doubles in the seventh as Washington closed to within two runs before Grichuk’s solo shot off Kyle Finnegan in the bottom of the seventh.

KEY PLAY

A critical defensive play in the fifth — in which Soto was picked off third base by catcher Nunez — helped quell the Nationals momentum.

“I just think that’s in-game awareness, left-handed hitter up and knowing the Nationals in general are pretty aggressive with their leads and secondaries,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “It’s something I think all teams sort of recognize at times, and against other teams not just the Nationals. They had some momentum — and I won’t speak for Soto, he’s an aggressive player — and we made a play.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Nationals: DH-INF Nelson Cruz was not in the starting lineup for a second straight game due to some muscle tightness in his back. Martinez said he was hopeful Cruz could return to the lineup for Friday night’s game against the Los Angeles Angels.

Rockies: OF Kris Bryant (back) is making progress in his rehab but is not expected to be ready to come off the 10-day injured list on Friday, which is when he’s eligible for reinstatement. No timetable has been set yet for his return.

UP NEXT

Nationals: RHP Joan Adon (1-4, 7.33 ERA) is slated to start Friday night in the series opener at the Los Angeles Angels.

Rockies: RHP Chad Kuhl (3-0, 1.90 ERA) is scheduled to start Friday night at Arizona against RHP Merrill Kelly (2-1, 1.27 ERA).

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