DENVER – Patrick Corbin pitched six strong innings, Victor Robles hit a three-run double, and the Washington Nationals beat the Colorado Rockies 6-3 on Tuesday night.
Corbin (2-0) gave up three runs – two earned – and five hits, and had a key base hit in Washington’s four-run third inning. He struck out six and walked one, coming out on top at Coors Field, where he has had some tough outings in the past. He entered with a 6.55 ERA in 11 previous games at Colorado, including 10 starts.
Sean Doolittle got the last four outs for his third save.
Washington scored two runs in the top of the ninth when Rockies reliever DJ Johnson walked Juan Soto with the bases loaded before hitting Howie Kendrick with a pitch.
Raimel Tapia homered for Colorado and Ryan McMahon had two hits.
Jeff Hoffman, recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque to start in place of injured Kyle Freeland (finger blister), sailed though the first two innings only to run into trouble in the third. Corbin singled to lead off the third, starting a string of four straight hits capped by Robles’ three-run double.
The hit parade prompted a mound visit from manager Bud Black, who spoke earlier in the day of the need for Hoffman to go fairly deep into the game after his bullpen saw four relievers throw six innings the night before.
Hoffman (0-1) retired the next six batters he faced, though Kendrick’s sacrifice fly in the third boosted the Nationals’ lead to 4-2. Hoffman benefited from two exceptional plays in the field in fourth on a leaping catch at the wall by center fielder Ian Desmond that robbed Brian Dozier of at least extra bases and a tumbling catch into the stands of Yan Gomes’ foul ball by left fielder Tapia.
Colorado scored an unearned in the fifth to pull within one. Charlie Blackmon scored from second base when shortstop Wilmer Difo booted Nolan Arenado’s grounder deep in the hole.
The Rockies took a 2-0 lead on Tapia’s second home run in two nights. McMahon was aboard with a single when Tapia drove a 1-0 offering from Corbin over the center-field fence.
TRAINER’S ROOMNationals: RHP Max Scherzer threw a bullpen session Tuesday and was expected to have another light throwing session on Wednesday. He remains on pace to make his scheduled start Friday after being struck under his left arm by a foul ball last Sunday against Miami. ... INF Anthony Rendon was not in the starting lineup for a third game after being hit on his left elbow by a pitch at Miami on Saturday.
Rockies: LHP Freeland was scheduled to throw a bullpen session Wednesday as he continues working his way back from a blister on his left middle finger that landed him on the 10-day injured list.
UP NEXTNationals: RHP Anibal Sanchez (0-2, 4.91 ERA) has gone 4-1 with a 2.28 ERA in seven career starts against the Rockies.
Rockies: RHP German Marquez (2-1, 2.25 ERA) enters Wednesday’s series finale with the fourth-lowest ERA in the NL