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Rockies Return Home To Top Nationals 4-2

Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

On the hottest night in Coors Field’s 20-year history (100 degrees at game time), the Colorado Rockies (28-44) cooled down one of the hottest teams in baseball by beating the visiting Washington Nationals (41-30) 4-2 last night in Denver. Game 2 of the four game series is at 6:40 tonight at Coors Field (TV: Root Sports).

The victory in the opener of a seven-game homestand ended an uncharacteristic home losing streak for the Rockies (28-44) at six games. They came up empty in their last homestand, an Interleague date with the Angels and Athletics June 8-14.

“It’s always nice to get a win here at home,” Rockies’ Dexter Fowler said. “We’re a dominant team at home and it was obviously disappointing the last time we were here.”

Rockies starter Jeff Francis, mixing an 86 mph fastball with curveballs that floated in at 68 mph, held the Nationals to five hits and two runs in five innings. Francis’ five strikeouts included two by Nationals young power hitter Bryce Harper in his Coors Field debut.

Official: Monday’s Box Score.

With the Rockies working with a four-man rotation and 75-pitch limit, manager Jim Tracy removed Francis with the Rockies trailing, 2-1. It was not the best position when facing Stephen Strasburg.

Reliever Josh Roenicke (3-0), who entered leading Major League relievers with 42 1/3 innings pitched, gave up one hit, struck out two and walked one in two scoreless innings.

Matt Belisle threw a scoreless eighth with two strikeouts and Rafael Betancourt earned his 12th save in 15 attempts, despite allowing two baserunners with one out. It represented a good start after a 3-6 road trip.

“We did enough offensively to win, and pitching is what it boils down to,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.

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]

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