for this game

Harris, Nieves pace Nationals to doubleheader sweep

Aug 8, 2008 - 4:40 AM By Brady Delander PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

DENVER (Ticker) -- Manny Acta is pleased with the resurgence of his Washington Nationals in the second half of the season, and the manager knows his club's postseason hopes are all but out of the question. Just don't call his team spoilers.

Willie Harris had two hits and two RBI and Wil Nieves connected for a two-run double to pace the Nationals to a 6-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies, completing a sweep of Thursday's doubleheader.

"Anybody that we beat from now on that's in the race, that's the nickname we are going to get," Acta said of the "spoiler" tag. "We're not thinking about hurting anybody or anything like that. We are just trying to get better and win some ballgames."

Thursday marked the first time the Rockies (52-65), who are now eight games behind the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks (59-56) in the National League West, have lost any game of a doubleheader since August 19, 2004.

The Nationals batted around in the second inning, racking up four runs on six hits. Harris provided the biggest blow, doubling to right field to plate two runs.

"We're just playing good baseball right now. We are doing the small things, the pitchers are doing their job and it feels good to come to Colorado and take three out of four," Nieves said.

Washington has won six of its past seven games.

Odalis Perez (5-8) yielded a two-run homer by Garrett Atkins in the first but recovered to pitch five scoreless frames thereafter. The veteran lefthander allowed six hits, walked one and struck out a batter to pick up his third win in four starts.

"In the first inning, my cutter wasn't working and I gave up the two-run homer to Atkins," Perez said. "But after that, I was working with my fastball and sinker away."

"(Perez) kept the ball down, he kept it off the middle of the plate and his fastball was extremely effective," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said.

Lastings Milledge and Emilio Bonifacio stayed hot with two singles apiece, giving them nine combined hits on the day.

"I got pitches that were in my hot spot," Milledge said. "We're coming out here to play ball. We're coming out here to win, no matter if we're in contention or not. We've been playing with a lot of energy and getting the job done."

Joel Hanrahan picked up his second save of the day - and third this season - with a perfect ninth, thanks in part to a beautiful diving catch by Milledge in center field.

Ubaldo Jimenez (8-10) struggled for the Rockies, allowing six runs, eight hits and six walks in five innings.

Washington took control in the pivotal second inning, scoring four times with two outs. Bonifacio plated Nieves with a single to right and Harris drove in two with a double.

Milledge, who homered twice in the first game, singled to score Harris and put the Nationals ahead, 4-2.

Taking advantage of Jimenez's control issues, Kory Casto and Ryan Langerhans drew walks to open the fifth. Nieves made Jimenez pay with a double that extended Washington's lead to 6-2.

Atkins collected three hits, including the home run, and drove in all three runs for Colorado.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    WASHINGTON 0 4 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 6 12 2
    COLORADO 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 3 7 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: WAS - ODALIS PEREZ, JESUS COLOME (7TH), SAUL RIVERA (8TH), JOEL
    HANRAHAN (9TH) AND WIL NIEVES
    COL - UBALDO JIMENEZ, MATT HERGES (6TH), LUIS VIZCAINO
    (7TH), MANNY C

    Aug 7 8:59 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    SINGLE BY GARRETT ATKINS SCORED MATT HOLLIDAY.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, G ATKINS ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 6
    COLORADO 3 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: C IANNETTA (.264, 0-FOR-1, HBP)

    Nationals 6, Rockies 3  Bot 7, 0 OutsAug 7 8:31 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    DOUBLE BY WIL NIEVES SCORED KORY CASTO AND PETE ORR.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, W NIEVES ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 6
    COLORADO 2 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: O PEREZ (.212, 1-FOR-2)

    Nationals 6, Rockies 2  Top 5, 0 OutsAug 7 7:35 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    SINGLE BY LASTINGS MILLEDGE SCORED WILLIE HARRIS.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, L MILLEDGE ON FIRST, R ZIMMERMAN ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 4
    COLORADO 2 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: K CASTO (.214, 0-FOR-1)

    Nationals 4, Rockies 2  Top 2, 0 OutsAug 7 6:40 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    DOUBLE BY WILLIE HARRIS SCORED ODALIS PEREZ AND EMILIO
    BONIFACIO.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, W HARRIS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 3
    COLORADO 2 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R ZIMMERMAN (.269, 1-FOR-1)

    Nationals 3, Rockies 2  Top 2, 0 OutsAug 7 6:37 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    SINGLE BY EMILIO BONIFACIO SCORED WIL NIEVES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, E BONIFACIO ON FIRST, O PEREZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1
    COLORADO 2 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: W HARRIS (.252, 1-FOR-1)

    Nationals 1, Rockies 2  Top 2, 0 OutsAug 7 6:36 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY GARRETT ATKINS (16) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 1ST OFF ODALIS PEREZ SCORED MATT HOLLIDAY.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 0, COLORADO 2
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: C IANNETTA (.265, 12 HR, 46 RBI)

    Nationals 0, Rockies 2  Bot 1, 0 OutsAug 7 6:28 PM