The Colorado Rockies (28-45), owners of the highest team ERA in baseball, saw it climb further last night after losing to the visiting Washington Nationals (42-30) 12-5 in Denver. The loss came on the day that 10-year Colorado pitching coach Bob Apodaca stepped down. Game 3 of the four game series is tonight at 6:40 at Coors Field (TV: Root Sports).

Rockies starter Christian Friedrich (4-5) yielded four runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings, and Guillermo Moscoso gave up eight hits and a career-high eight runs in 1 2/3 innings.

They were the main victims of a Nationals offense that lashed out 21 hits -- tied for most since the franchise moved to Washington from Montreal in 2005. The National League East-leading Nationals also drilled out a Washington-record 11 extra-base hits.

Since last Tuesday, the Rockies have been using a four-man starting rotation with a 75-pitch limit per start. Friedrich, who didn't help his cause by giving up a two-out, RBI single to Nationals winning pitcher Gio Gonzalez (10-3) in the third inning, was at 70 pitches with one out and the bases empty in the fifth when manager Jim Tracy went to Moscoso.

Official: Tuesday's Box Score.

Truth be told, the Rockies had nights like Tuesday -- adequate hitting, woeful pitching -- under the old pitching plan. In six innings, the Rockies tagged Gonzalez for the most runs (five), matched the most earned runs (four) and knocked the most hits (eight) he had given up in a start this year.

Home runs came from Dexter Fowler, his 10th of the season, and Jonathan Herrera, his third, and All-Star candidate Carlos Gonzalez went 2-for-3 with a double.

Tickets are available for t0night’s game at Coors Field vs. the Washington Nationals, and can be purchased by calling (800) 388-ROCK, or click here.

[ColoradoRockies.com]