Struggling starters clash as Rockies open series in Washington

The Colorado Rockies hope opening a four-game series against the host Washington Nationals on Thursday is just what they need to get out of their tailspin.

The Rockies were 15-10 after taking two of three games against the visiting Nationals from May 3-5, but they haven't won a series since.

Colorado has dropped 13 of its past 18 games after squandering a 5-2, sixth-inning lead on Wednesday in Pittsburgh. The Pirates rallied for a 10-5 win to take two of the series' three games.

"It's extremely frustrating, especially for the guys," Rockies manager Bud Black said.

The Nationals, who avoided being swept in a three-game series by the visiting Dodgers thanks to a 1-0 win on Wednesday, also know what it's like to struggle.

Washington has gone 6-14 since it last won consecutive games on May 1 and 3, but the Nationals are coming off one of their best wins of the season.

Erick Fedde scattered four hits over six innings and Cesar Hernandez had a run-scoring single in the sixth inning. It was the Nationals' first victory over the Dodgers in the teams' past 10 meetings.

Nationals reliever Carl Edwards Jr. retired the side in the seventh before Kyle Finnegan silenced the Dodgers in the eighth despite giving up a single to Trea Turner and an intentional walk to Freddie Freeman.

In the ninth, Tanner Rainey walked Max Muncy and yielded a single to Gavin Lux before getting Will Smith to fly out at the right field warning track to pick up his fourth save of the season.

"I've said it before: We get some starting pitching, we get deep -- deep to me is somewhere in that sixth inning or so -- and we got the lead, our bullpen can hold us down," Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. "Today was an example of that with a really good team and a really good lineup."

The Rockies and Nationals are each turning to a struggling starting pitcher on Thursday.

Colorado righty German Marquez (1-4, 6.14 ERA) is coming off allowing five runs (four earned) on 11 hits with seven strikeouts and a walk in six innings during a 5-1 loss to the New York Mets on Saturday.

He got pummeled by the Nationals in his last outing against them, allowing seven runs on 10 hits, including two home runs, to go along with five strikeouts and two walks in just five innings of a 10-2 loss on May 3. Marquez traditionally struggles against Washington, considering that he is 2-3 with an 8.44 ERA with 29 strikeouts and 11 walks in six starts spanning 32 innings.

The Nationals' Patrick Corbin (0-7, 6.60 ERA) is having a terrible season. The lefty is coming off allowing five runs on eight hits, including two home runs, with three strikeouts and a walk in five innings during a 5-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday.

He also is no stranger to the Rockies. Corbin, who faced them plenty of times when he pitched for the Arizona Diamondbacks, is 10-7 with a 4.63 ERA vs. Colorado with 137 strikeouts and 40 walks in 26 appearances (25 starts) spanning 145 2/3 innings.

Corbin gave up five runs -- three earned -- on nine hits with three strikeouts and no walks in eight innings during a 5-2 loss at Colorado on May 4.

--Field Level Media

Colorado RockiesRockies012000000381
Washington NationalsNationals400100110792
WP:Patrick Corbin (WAS)
LP:German Marquez (COL)
Season Series
.322Batting Average.268
6.7Runs / Game4.9
10Home Runs6