Jorge De La Rosa's solid run of starts came to an end in his last outing. Wednesday night could be a prime opportunity to begin another roll, facing a team that struggles against left-handers more than any other in baseball.
Though Colorado has won his last seven starts as he's gone 5-0, De La Rosa (7-3, 3.38 ERA) failed to get a win Friday and certainly didn't deserve one. He matched a season worst by allowing 11 hits along with four runs over five innings as Colorado beat San Diego 10-9. De La Rosa surrendered the same number of runs in his previous three starts over a span of 19 1-3 innings.
The left-hander did have to pitch through a cut on his middle finger, but he's expected to have no problem starting Wednesday.
"It's fine, I didn't have to put anything on it," De La Rosa told the team's official website. "It's healing."
De La Rosa has won his last three starts against the Nationals but hasn't faced them since 2010. This Washington club has had its difficulties versus lefties, with its .209 average and .309 slugging percentage against them both being the worst in the majors.
The Rockies' offense has been having no such trouble, staying hot Tuesday with an 8-3 victory over Washington behind Tyler Colvin and Carlos Gonzalez . Colvin, making his first start in right field since being recalled from Triple-A, drove in four runs as he homered twice for the fourth time in his career and second against Washington. Gonzalez's three-run homer put Colorado (35-30) ahead during a five-run fifth inning.
The club is hitting .311 over the last 10 games with 64 runs and 19 homers.
Colvin was called up to fill in for Michael Cuddyer (rib strain), who was missing from the starting lineup for a fourth straight game but could return soon.
"It's one thing to be here, but I know I can contribute and help this team win," said Colvin, who hit .290 with 18 homers and 72 RBIs for the Rockies last year. "Games like tonight justify why I'm here, you know?"
Ross Ohlendorf also will try to justify his call-up. With an ailing rotation nearing but still not at 100 percent, Washington is promoting Ohlendorf from Triple-A Syracuse on Wednesday for his first big-league start since Aug. 17 for San Diego. The right-hander went 4-4 with a 7.77 ERA in 13 games - nine starts - last year with the Padres.
He's 1-1 with a 5.00 ERA over six career starts versus Colorado. Todd Helton is 3 for 8 against him while Gonzalez is 4 for 12.
Troy Tulowitzki singled twice in four at-bats Tuesday and is batting .444 over his last 13 games with an OPS of 1.360.
The Nationals (31-32) have lost nine of 11 road games and remain without Bryce Harper . It's unclear when he will return after receiving a cortisone injection in his swollen left knee Tuesday.
"We'll re-evaluate him in one week's time to resume activities, so these are all good things," trainer Lee Kuntz said.
|Jorge De La Rosa||3||.000||0||0||0||0||3||.000||.000||.000|
|June 03, 2013||Danny Espinosa||15-Day DL||Broken bone in right wrist|
|June 01, 2013||Stephen Strasburg||15-Day DL||Strained right latissimus dorsi|
|May 31, 2013||Stephen Strasburg||Day-to-Day||Strained right lat|
|May 27, 2013||Bryce Harper||15-Day DL||Left knee bursitis|
|May 26, 2013||Bryce Harper||Day-to-Day||Left game - Sore left knee|
|May 24, 2013||Danny Espinosa||Day-to-Day||Broken bone in right wrist|
|June 11, 2013||Jorge De La Rosa||Day-to-Day||Cut on left middle finger|
|June 10, 2013||Edgmer Escalona||15-Day DL||Right elbow inflammation|
|June 03, 2013||Tyler Chatwood||Day-to-Day||Left game - Right triceps soreness|
|June 01, 2013||Rafael Betancourt||15-Day DL||Right groin strain|
|May 26, 2013||Michael Cuddyer||Day-to-Day||Left game - Right forearm injury|
|May 15, 2013||Jeff Francis||15-Day DL||Left groin strain|
DENVER (AP) -- Ross Ohlendorf returned to the big leagues with a new windup and delivered quite a performance.
Displaying a throwback motion with an exaggerated rock step and lifting both arms over his head, Ohlendorf pitched six strong innings in his Washington debut as the Nationals beat the Colorado Rockies 5-1 Wednesday night.
Ian Desmond backed him with two hits and three RBIs for the Nationals' third win in their last 12 road games.
"My windup, I started doing this year," Ohlendorf said. "It gives me rhythm and helps me stay loose, and the ball has been coming out well pitching that way."
Well enough to keep the Rockies' hitters guessing.
"Sometimes you get ready too early," Nolan Arenado said. "Then you get ready too late. You couldn't find that balance. He kept the ball down. He mixed in both sides of the plate. You've got to give him credit. He did a good job."
Recalled earlier in the day from Triple-A Syracuse, Ohlendorf (1-0) allowed one run and two hits in his first start since last Aug. 17 with San Diego against San Francisco.
"It couldn't have been easy," said Desmond, who matched a season high with his three RBIs. "I know he's got to be hungry to get back to the big leagues. To come up and deliver like that, that's an outing we've been needing all year. To hold the Rockies at home, all their guys are hot, he did an unbelievable job."
Signed by Washington last winter as a minor league free agent, Ohlendorf became the eighth starting pitcher used by the Nationals this year, matching last season's total. Stephen Strasburg and Ross Detwiler remain on the disabled list but are due to return soon.
However, Nationals manager Davey Johnson said he was impressed by Ohlendorf and hopes to find a way to keep the Princeton product around for a while. And he kind of likes his windup.
"It's old-fashioned," Johnson said.
Desmond extended his hitting streak to a career-high 14 games with an RBI single in the fourth to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead.
Washington struck for three more in the sixth and chased starter Jorge De La Rosa (7-4), beating him for the first time in the past five tries.
De La Rosa, who has been dealing with a nagging cut on the middle finger of his pitching hand, went 5 1-3 innings and allowed three runs on four hits. He struck out five and walked three. De La Rosa had gone 3-0 with a 4.44 ERA in his previous four starts against the Nationals.
"He struggled through some of his outing and again in the end," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "He kept us close enough to win a game. He had to work pretty hard, threw a lot of pitches."
Jeff Kobernus began Washington's burst with a one-out walk in the sixth and Ryan Zimmerman doubled to the wall in deep left-center, scoring Kobernus.
Left fielder Carlos Gonzalez and center fielder Dexter Fowler both converged on Zimmerman's drive, banging into each other as Fowler jumped at the wall. The ball dribbled to the ground and Fowler threw it back in. Both players, though shaken up, remained in the game.
Adam Ottavino relieved De La Rosa and Wilin Rosario replaced catcher Yorvit Torrealba in a double switch. One out later, Adam LaRoche was walked intentionally and went to second on a wild pitch before Desmond singled up the middle, scoring Zimmerman and LaRoche.
Gonzalez tripled in a run for Colorado in the sixth but Washington got it back in the eighth on an RBI double by Anthony Rendon , who has a hit in seven straight games.
NOTES: Nationals C Wilson Ramos re-injured his left hamstring running first-to-third drills two days ago at the club's facility in Viera, Fla. Johnson termed it a slight setback but said it would be "a long shot" for Ramos to return before the All-Star break. ... The Nationals made room for Ohlendorf by optioning RHP Nathan Karns to Double-A Harrisburg. ... The Rockies announced before the game that they had signed their top draft pick, Oklahoma pitcher Jonathan Gray. The third overall selection in last week's draft, Gray is the highest pick to sign so far. ... OF Eric Young Jr. was designated for assignment by the Rockies, and RHP Chris Volstad was recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs. ... OF Michael Cuddyer missed a fifth straight game for the Rockies because of a right ribcage strain but is expected to return for Thursday's series finale.