DENVER – Daniel Murphy’s home debut at Coors Field was nearly cut short when he got in the path of a mascot. The Rockies are happy he survived that — and he’s back in the lineup.
Murphy returned after missing 20 games with a fractured left index finger, Raimel Tapia had two doubles and drove in three runs to back a solid outing from German Marquez, and Colorado beat the Washington Nationals 9-5 on Wednesday.
Charlie Blackmon homered and Trevor Story extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a double and a triple. Nolan Arenado had three RBIs, David Dahl had three hits and Wade Davis picked up his third save. The Rockies have won eight of their last 10 and went 5-2 on their homestand.
“What a great homestand,” Murphy said. “These guys played great. I’m just happy to be a part of it at the end.”
Murphy’s two-year, $24 million deal was Colorado’s only significant free-agent signing in the offseason. The former National singled in his first at-bat and then drew a walk after Story tripled and scored on Tapia’s three-run double in Colorado’s four-run third inning.
“Murphy, with a guy on third, less than two outs and he took a walk,” manager Bud Black said. “He could have expanded the zone and tried to selfishly get a ribby but he didn’t. Those are the things that we’re talking about with Murphy that rub off.”
Things got dicey when Murphy came out of the dugout to take the field in the top of the sixth. He stepped into the path of the Coors Field tooth trot race, but disaster was avoided when the oversized tooth veered out of the way.
“He made a really athletic maneuver. Much appreciated,” Murphy said. “He probably could have lambasted me there. I should pay more attention.”
Juan Soto homered for the Nationals, who have yet to win more than two games in a row this season.
Marquez (3-1) pitched in pain in his previous start because of an infected tooth. He had it pulled after the loss to Philadelphia on Friday and settled down midway through the game to battle through seven innings Wednesday.
“He settled down and found the strike zone,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said. “He used his secondary pitches well and got ahead.”
The three runs Marquez allowed came with two outs. Jake Noll’s first major league hit was an RBI double in the second inning, and Soto hit a two-run homer following Victor Robles’ two-out single in the third to make it 3-0.
The Rockies scored the next nine runs off Anibal Sanchez (0-3) and Washington’s bullpen. Blackmon led off the fourth with his third homer to make it 5-3 and Arenado had an RBI single.
Colorado tacked on three more in the eighth against Trevor Rosenthal, whose horrific start to the season continued.
Matt Adams’ two-run single in the ninth was hit third hit of the game.
TRAINER’S ROOMNationals: Martinez said INF Anthony Rendon (left elbow contusion) is improving and could return Friday. ... RHP Justin Miller (lower back strain) began a rehab assignment Wednesday. Martinez said the club will try to have Miller pitch back-to-back days. ... 3B Ryan Zimmerman (heel) was out of the lineup for rest.
Rockies: LHP Kyle Freeland (blister) threw a side session Wednesday. Freeland was placed on the 10-day injured list on Monday. ... The Rockies optioned RHP Jeff Hoffman to Triple-A Albuquerque to make room for Murphy on the roster.
ROSENTHAL’S STRUGGLESRosenthal allowed run-scoring singles to Arenado and Dahl, and another run scored on a wild pitch, one of three he threw in the eighth. The outing actually lowered his ERA from 40.50 to 36.00.
“We’ve got to get him in the game, we’ve got to see what he can do,” Martinez said. “At this point he just doesn’t look right. We have to figure out what’s going on.”
Rosenthal had not pitched in the majors since 2017 when Washington signed him this offseason. The former All-Star has battled control issues in his seven appearances with the Nationals.
“I’m trying to make a pitch and I’m having bigger misses than I’d like, but the small misses compound,” he said. “I feel really good, really close. I think it’ll happen soon. I just have to keep getting in there.”
UP NEXTNationals: RHP Max Scherzer (1-3, 4.45 ERA) opens a three-game home series against San Diego on Friday night.
Rockies: RHP Antonio Senzatela (1-1, 3.55) will open a three-game series at Atlanta on Friday night.