DENVER (AP) -- Not feeling his best, John Patterson was still
good enough to beat Colorado.
Patterson won his third straight start with eight innings of
one-run ball and the Washington Nationals completed a three-game
sweep of the Rockies with a 9-2 victory Sunday."I wasn't very comfortable on the mound today at all and I
didn't have the command that I have had for most of this year,"
Patterson said. "I got my fastball around the plate early, and
didn't really have my curve."With less than his normal arsenal, Patterson (7-3) allowed nine
hits, struck out five, walked two and lowered his ERA to 2.44. He
has allowed four earned runs over his last three starts."I knew that I had to mix up my pitches so they couldn't just
sit on a fastball, and really I think what I did have for location
got me through today," Patterson said. "I did have a lead."Nick Johnson hit a three-run homer and Jose Guillen added a solo
shot for the Nationals. Guillen, who had two hits and two RBI, has
hit 20 of his 21 home runs on the road.Former Colorado outfielder Preston Wilson, acquired by
Washington in July, had two hits and drove in two runs.The series sweep was Washington's seventh this season."Patterson was fine," Washington manager Frank Robinson said.
"He did what he had to after he got a big lead and pitched a good
ballgame."Colorado left 10 runners on base and was swept at Coors Field
for the third time this year. The Rockies have lost four straight."These guys threw us a beating for three days," Colorado
manager Clint Hurdle said. "They threw us a beating pitching and
hitting."The Rockies scored in the eighth on double to right by Todd
Helton, a single to left by Matt Holliday and a sacrifice fly by
Luis Gonzalez.Washington took a 2-0 lead when Brad Wilkerson singled and moved
to third on a hit-and-run single by Jose Vidro to open the fourth
inning. Johnson drove in Wilkerson with a sacrifice fly behind
third base and Vidro scored on a two-out single by Preston Wilson."Nick Johnson is coming back slowly," Robinson said. "We want
him to be a little bit more consistent."The Nationals scored five runs in the fifth after two outs.
Vidro delivered an RBI single to center, and after Johnson hit a
three-run homer to right, Guillen hit a solo shot on the next pitch
from Jose Acevedo (2-3)."Acevedo had poor execution," Hurdle said. "He threw three
good pitches to Vidro before hanging a breaking ball to Vidro and
had Johnson down 0-2 and the next pitch ended up off the foul pole
and his next pitch to Guillen ended up in the bleachers."Guillen and Wilson had RBI doubles in the seventh inning.Colorado loaded the bases in the third on leadoff singles by
Acevedo and Larry Bigbie and a one-out intentional walk to Helton.
Patterson got out of the inning by getting Holliday to hit into a
double play."We're not focused with runners in scoring position," Gonzalez
said. "And you can't hit in those situations when you aren't."
Wilkerson was back in the lineup after missing two games
with shoulder soreness. ... Vidro caught a pop fly hit by Omar
Quintanilla that he juggled twice before catching. ... Rockies SS
Clint Barmes, on the disabled list with a broken collarbone since
June 6, will accompany the team on in its next road trip.