Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Jordan Zimmermann pitched eight strong innings to lead the Washington Nationals in a 5-1 win over the Colorado Rockies to open a four-game set.
Zimmermann (10-3) gave up just one unearned run on six hits with a walk and nine strikeouts, in addition to driving in a run to win his second straight decision.
Adam LaRoche went 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored, while Denard Span and Anthony Rendon each had two hits and scored a run for the Nationals, who have won their past two.
"Obviously it's nice to pick up a game," LaRoche said. "We need to get ourselves on track and play some consistent ball. We've been way too streaky."
Roy Oswalt (0-1) struck out 11 batters in his Colorado debut, but also gave up four runs on nine hits over five innings of work. DJ LeMahieu drove in the lone run of the game for the Rockies, who have dropped four straight and seven of nine.
"I felt strong," Oswalt said. "Overall felt pretty well, just, it's hard to say this, but really too many strikeouts. Kind of got my pitch count up and I was trying to get deeper into the game."
Ian Desmond's one-out solo blast in the second, his 11th of the year, staked the Nationals to a 1-0 lead.
LaRoche started the fourth with a single and, after the next two batters struck out, moved to second on a single by Steve Lombardozzi. Kurt Suzuki followed with a grounder that got past a diving Nolan Arenado then hit off the glove of Jonathan Herrera. LaRoche came home on the play and just beat the throw to the plate by Herrera for a 2-0 lead.
Span smoked the first pitch he saw off the scoreboard in right-center to start the fifth inning. Rendon then singled to put runners at the corners and later stole second. LaRoche then hit a 2-2 pitch to right-center and it fell for a triple and a 4-0 lead.
After stranding runners at the corners in the first and giving up a leadoff single to Todd Helton in the second, Zimmermann got Yorvit Torrealba to hit into a double play and that started a run of 16 straight batters retired.
Zimmermann helped his cause in the sixth with a sacrifice fly that scored Lombardozzi for a 5-0 lead.
Arenado's two-out single in the seventh broke Zimmermann's run, and Helton followed with a single, but Torrealba hit into a fielder's choice to end the frame.
The Rockies got one across in the eighth on a run-scoring single from LeMahieu with one out. Zimmermann, though, struck out the next two batters to get out of the inning.
Rafael Soriano pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to end the game.
Colorado's Michael Cuddyer extended his hitting streak to 18 games with a single in the first inning. Also, he has reached base safely in 37 straight games, the longest in the majors this season ... Washington took two of three in Colorado earlier in June.