Rockies’ June swoon in full bloom with 11-5 loss to Nationals

With apologies to George Gershwin …

“Summertime, and the runs come easy. The baseball’s jumpin’ and ERAs are high.”

And so it goes for the Rockies at Coors Field, where they lost again Friday night.

The Nationals mashed 19 hits, including two home runs, en route to an 11-5 victory in front of an announced crowd of 31,935. Colorado countered with 11 hits, including home runs by Ezequiel Tovar, Nolan Jones and Hunter Goodman. But it wasn’t nearly enough.

The Rockies, on pace to lose 107 games, are a disappointing 2-6 on the current 10-game homestand, and their June swoon is in full bloom. After a passable 14-13 record in May, Colorado has a 5-15 record this month.

Starter Dakota Hudson’s night went south in a hurry.

The Rockies’ right-hander seemed to have slayed his Coors Field demons or, at the very least, tamed them temporarily. But the Nationals hammered Hudson for eight runs on a career-high 11 hits in three-plus innings.

The avalanche began with the Nationals’ five-run third, including a three-run homer by Luis Garcia. The Nats’ four-run fourth began with Drew Millas’ leadoff homer off Hudson. He was relieved by Geoff Hartlieb, who immediately gave up a two-run double to Lane Thomas.

The Rockies gave their fans a few moments of good cheer.

Tovar, continuing his bid for the All-Star Game, homered off rookie lefty DJ Herz in the third to get Colorado on the board. It was Tovar’s 12th homer of the season, second on the team to Ryan McMahon’s 13. Tovar finished the game 3-for-5 to raise his average to .285.

Colorado’s three-run fourth began with Nolan Jones’ second homer, a solo shot off Herz. It was a good sign for Jones, who recently came off the injured list after missing 41 games because of lower back and left knee injuries.

After a Sean Bouchard single, Hunter Goodman ripped a two-run homer off Herz, Goodman’s sixth homer of the season and his fourth homer in his last six games.

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Herz, who had never faced the Rockies, came to Coors with a 3.77 ERA. He departed with a 4.50 ERA after giving up four runs (three earned) on seven hits over 3 2/3 innings.

But any thoughts that Colorado would stage a meaningful comeback were snuffed out by the Nationals with their two-run sixth inning off Hartlieb. Back-to-back doubles by Jacob Young and CJ Abrams produced the first run, and Thomas scorched a triple off the left-field wall to drive in Abrams.

Saturday’s pitching matchup

Nationals’ LHP Mitchell Parker (5-3, 3.06 ERA) at Rockies RHP Cal Quantrill (6-5, 3.43)

7:10 p.m. Saturday, Coors Field

TV: Rockies.TV (streaming); Comcast/Xfinity (channel 1262); DirecTV (683); Spectrum (130, 445, 305, 435 or 445, depending on region).

Radio: 850 AM/94.1 FM

Quantrill is scheduled to make his 16th start of the season. He’s made nine quality starts, tied for fourth in the National League, and allowed three runs or fewer in nine of his 15 starts. Until he fell in his last outing against the Dodgers, Quantrill had won six of his seven previous outings. The right-hander has faced the Nationals just once, getting a no-decision. He pitched six innings, allowing three runs on three hits, including a home run. He struck out three and walked two.

Parker is one of the majors’ rookie starters thriving this season. He earned his fifth win of the season last Sunday against the Marlins. He limited Miami to one earned run on six hits and no walks. He’s posted a quality start in four of his last six games.

Pitching probables

Sunday: Nationals RHP Jake Irvin (5-6, 3.24) at Rockies LHP Austin Gomber (1-4, 4.36), 1:10 p.m.

— Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post

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