At long last, balance is restored at Nationals Park. After missing 57 games with a torn ligament in his left thumb, Bryce Harper returned to the Washington Nationals’ lineup Monday night, helping his team to a 7-3 win over the Colorado Rockies.
Perhaps reenergized by Harper’s return to the lineup, the Nationals tallied seven runs for the second night in a row to ensure Jordan Zimmermann walked away with his sixth win of the season.
Zimmermann’s six innings pitched featured a fair share of missteps. The Nats’ right-hander gave up two runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out five. But, with the team’s offense firing away, it was more than enough to stifle the Rockies.
Harper batted in a run on a night that appropriately featured his bobblehead giveaway. Even more, Ian Desmond batted in three runs and Adam LaRoche hit a monster solo shot to further aid the Nationals’ efforts.
In just his second start, Rockies’ starter Yohan Flande kept Washington scoreless through three.
In the fourth, Harper made his presence known.
With two outs, Zimmerman doubled deep to left, setting up the Nationals’ phenom to single in the run.
In the sixth, the Rockies’ star bats did their damage.
After Drew Stubbs led off with a ground-rule double, Troy Tulowitzki capitalized with an RBI double of his own. Justin Morneau then singled before Zimmermann forced Wilin Rosario to settle for a pop out to short.
Before Zimmermann could pitch out of the inning, he gave up an RBI single to Ryan Wheeler, allowing the Rockies to take a 2-1 lead.
But, it was short-lived.
In the bottom of the inning, Anthony Rendon led off with a single before Jayson Werth drew a walk on seven pitches. LaRoche struck out swinging before Colorado called in reliever Rob Scahill.
Then, things got worse before they got better for the Rockies.
Zimmerman smoked a double to left to plate Rendon before Scahill intentionally walked Harper, much to the disappointment of his fans.
It did Scahill no better as Desmond doubled in Werth and Zimmerman.
Before the Rockies could stop the bleeding, Wilson Ramos hit an RBI grounder to make it 6-2 Washington.
The Nats added an insurance run in the seventh by way of LaRoche’s 12th homer of the season, but the Rockies cleared it in the bottom of the inning after Aaron Barrett gave up a walk, single and wild pitch.
In the end, it mattered little. Jerry Blevins pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to secure the 7-3 win, bringing Washington’s record to 44-38 and 24-17 at home.