Jimenez, Helton carry Rockies in 2-1 win over Nationals
WASHINGTON (AP) - Ubaldo Jimenez allowed one run in eight innings and Todd Helton homered, doubled and drove in both runs as the Colorado Rockies beat the Washington Nationals 2-1 on Saturday night.
Jimenez (4-8) retired the first 13 batters before Michael Morse singled with one out in the fifth inning.
The right-hander struck out eight, allowed five hits and walked one. It was the third time this season Jimenez pitched at least eight innings, all coming on the road.
Huston Street pitched the ninth for his 26th save, giving up two singles.
Jayson Werth grounded into a double play with runners on the corners to end the game.
The Rockies have won two in a row and will go for the series sweep Sunday.
Ian Desmond singled, tripled and scored the lone run for the Nationals, who have lost three consecutive one-run games.
Nationals starter Jason Marquis (7-4) was coming off his worst start of the season, when he gave up four runs on eight hits over 1 1-3 innings in a loss to Pittsburgh on July 3. Marquis was much better against the Rockies, but was no match for Jimenez as he allowed two runs on five hits in six innings, walking four and striking out one.
Helton hit his 10th homer into the seats above the out-of-town scoreboard in right field in the fourth inning. Troy Tulowitzki followed with a single, and after a pair of two-out walks, the bases were loaded for Jimenez, who grounded out to third to end the inning.
The Rockies added a run in the fifth and narrowly missed another when
Mark Ellis doubled to left and Ryan Spilborghs, who led off the inning with a single, attempted to score from first. Laynce Nix fielded the ball near the left-field corner and Desmond's relay throw caught Ellis at the plate.
Ellis made it to third on the play and scored on Helton's groundout to first.
Desmond led off the sixth inning with a liner to center which bounced over the sliding Spilborghs for a triple. Desmond scored on pinch-hitter Rick Ankiel's groundout to second.
The Rockies were poised to add to their lead in the eighth inning. Helton's double and an intentional walk to Tulowitzki gave Colorado runners on first and second with one out. Seth Smith lined a ball to left, and Nix made a diving catch before doubling up Helton.
Notes: Tulowitzki started after missing the last four games with a tight hamstring. ... Colorado OF Carlos Gonzalez (bruised right wrist) was out of the starting lineup, although he came on in the ninth as a defensive replacement. Gonzalez had missed four games before returning Friday. "He's sore today. Still feeling it a little bit," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. Tracy added there was a "remote" chance of Gonzalez playing Sunday. ... Nationals C Jesus Flores, recalled from Triple-A Syracuse on Friday, made his first start since May 9, 2009. ... A day after being hit in the nose with a line drive, Nationals LHP John Lannan said there was a small break in the cartilage on the side of his nose, but he doesn't expect to miss a start. "It wasn't as bad as it looked," Lannan said. ... It was Tracy's 200th win with the Rockies.