Gomes homers in Nats' win

August 07, 2011

DENVER (AP) — Jonny Gomes ended his home run drought by picking on a familiar pitcher.

Gomes hit his first homer for Washington, Jayson Werth delivered a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning and the Nationals beat the Colorado Rockies 3-2 Sunday.

Gomes had gone 25 games without a homer, a streak that started before the Nationals acquired him from Cincinnati on July 26. He has been in a platoon role since the trade and made the most of this start.

“Since I walked in here the guys have welcomed me with open arms,” Gomes said. “It’s not like I have to hit home runs to prove myself.”

Gomes gave the Nationals a 2-0 lead in the second when he followed Werth’s leadoff walk with his 12th home run of the season, connecting against Aaron Cook. Gomes came into the game hitting .455 off Cook in his career and finished with two hits off the sinkerball pitcher.

“None of his pitches are going to be true — sinker, cutter, slider, all of them have movement,” Gomes said. “I have had success off him. Even though you have had success you have to go in there with a clean slate.”

Starter John Lannan made the lead stand up for six innings but the Rockies tied it in the seventh. Pinch-hitter Jonathan Herrera drew a leadoff walk, Eric Young Jr. singled off reliever Ryan Mattheus and Dexter Fowler’s sacrifice bunt moved the runners up.

Herrera scored when first baseman Michael Morse bobbled Carlos Gonzalez’s grounder at first, and Gonzalez was safe when reliever Tyler Clippard failed to cover the bag. After Troy Tulowitzki struck out, Ty Wigginton singled to make it 2-all.

Clippard (2-0) got the win in relief and Drew Storen pitched the ninth for his 29th save.

Lannan didn’t figure into the decision despite pitching a solid game. He gave up one run on six hits, struck out three and walked four in six-plus innings. He was upset at himself for walking Herrera on a changeup to lead off the seventh.

“I regretted it as soon as I threw it, especially with a 2-0 lead,” he said. “It just wasn’t smart on my part. That’s just awful pitching.”

Werth picked up his starter in the eighth when the Nationals pushed across the deciding run off reliever Matt Belisle (5-4). Danny Espinosa opened the eighth with a double over Young’s head in left and moved to third on Ryan Zimmerman’s groundout. After an intentional walk to Morse, Werth singled sharply to left field.

“I fouled off a two-strike heater up and I made the decision I wasn’t going to change,” Werth said. “I felt like if tried to speed up to hit the heater I’d be successful with the slider. I just stayed right there, got a slider and was able to put it out there.”

Belisle took responsibility for the loss.

“I made a lazy slider so I take full accountability for the hit,” he said.

Eliezer Alfonzo got three hits for Colorado and Tulowitzki had two.

Cook, who had to leave Tuesday’s game against Philadelphia because of neck spasms, scattered four hits in 6 2-3 innings. He walked three and struck out three in his second longest outing in his 10 starts since coming off the disabled list on June 8.

“I felt pretty good. There was a little mechanical issue early and left one ball up. Ended up costing us big,” he said. “Other than that I felt pretty good and felt I was able to make pitches the way I needed to.”

NOTES: The Rockies recalled RHP Josh Roenicke from Triple-A Colorado Springs and optioned RHP Greg Reynolds to the Sky Sox. ... Chien-Ming Wang will pitch in Washington’s opener against the Cubs in Chicago on Monday. Wang has not faced the Cubs since June 18, 2005, and has never pitched in Wrigley Field. ... Rockies starter Jason Hammel will open Colorado’s series in Cincinnati on Monday. Hammel has struggled since starting the season 3-1, going 3-10 since then. In July opponents hit .325 off the right-hander. ... Gomes had his first multi-hit game for the Nationals and just his second since July 1. He has 12 multi-hit games this season.

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