Kearns' homer lifts Nationals past RockiesJul 22, 2007 - 9:47 PM WASHINGTON (Ticker) - Austin Kearns hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning, breaking a scoreless tie and giving the Washington Nationals a 3-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.
The win helped the Nationals take three of four games from the Rockies in the series.
Colorado was shut out in the last two games - the first time the Nationals franchise recorded two consecutive shutouts since April 2-3, 2003. It's also the first time Colorado has been shut out in consecutive games since Aug. 30-31, 2003, and just the fourth time in franchise history.
The Rockies finished the series 0-for-26 with runners in scoring position.
"Just missed opportunities - too many," Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. "They were there for the taking. We weren't able to cash in."
Kearns' homer was his sixth of the season and his first in 53 games, a span of 186 at-bats, which was the longest drought of his career. It came off Jorge Julio, the Rockies' third pitcher of the game.
"I've gone that long before so it's not something I'm concerning myself with," Kearns said. "I'm just trying to get the run in. If I start trying to hit home runs, I'm really going to struggle."
Ronnie Belliard led off the eighth with a pinch-hit single off Julio (0-3). Felipe Lopez hit into a double play but D'Angelo Jimenez singled - only his third hit in 30 at-bats this season. Ryan Zimmerman was then walked intentionally, setting the stage for Kearns.
Julio pitched one inning, allowing three runs on three hits while walking one.
Julio said he wanted to avoid Zimmerman, who is 3-for-6 against him, including a game-winning home run on May 12. Kearns was 1-for-5 against the righthander.
"I wanted to pitch to (Kearns) - I know this guy," Julio said. "This guy's an aggressive hitter. He swings at everything."
Kearns' homer made a winner of Jon Rauch (5-2), the Nationals' third pitcher of the day. The righthander worked a scoreless eighth, allowing a hit, walking one and striking out one.
Chad Cordero pitched the ninth, allowing a pair of baserunners before earning his 19th save. It was the 110th save of Cordero's career, moving him into third place on the franchise's all-time saves list.
Starter Tim Redding pitched well for Washington. The righthander allowed five hits in 6 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out one.
Josh Fogg started for Colorado, limiting Washington to three hits in six innings. The righthander walked three and struck out one.
The Nationals loaded the bases with two outs against Fogg in the fourth inning, but Jesus Flores grounded into a fielder's choice to end the threat.
Todd Helton finished with two hits for the Rockies.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
COLORADO 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 0
WASHINGTON 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 x 3 6 0 (FINAL)
BATTERIES: COL - JOSH FOGG, LATROY HAWKINS (7TH), JORGE JULIO (8TH) AND YORVIT
WAS - TIM REDDING, CHRIS BOOKER (7TH), JON RAUCH (8TH),
CHAD CORDERO (9TH) AND JESUS
Jul 22 4:00 PM
AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY AUSTIN KEARNS (6) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT
IN THE 8TH OFF JORGE JULIO SCORED D'ANGELO JIMENEZ AND RYAN
CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 0, WASHINGTON 3
DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: T BATISTA (.229, 0-FOR-2, BB)
Rockies vs. NationalsJul 22 3:48 PM
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