"I don't take it personally," the Colorado Rockies' left
fielder said. "I see it as an opportunity to be productive and
drive in runs."
Holliday homered and hit a tiebreaking two-run single in the
seventh inning to lead the Rockies to a 9-5 victory over the
Washington Nationals on Saturday night.
"You live for those situations," Holliday said. "Sometimes,
it turns out in your favor and sometimes it doesn't."
Holliday was 3-for-4 with four RBI, including his 27th home run
of the season, and Atkins hit his 24th homer and drove in three
Alfonso Soriano hit his franchise-record 45th home run of the
season for the Nationals, topping the previous mark set by Vladimir
Guerrero in 2000 when the team was in Montreal.
When asked about the milestone, Soriano disgustedly knocked over
a chair and snapped, "I have to take a shower."
When he returned, he said, "I don't want to talk about
Colorado reliever Mike Venafro (1-0) retired the two batters he
faced in the seventh inning to pick up the win as the Rockies
improved to 7-0 against Washington this season.
Nick Johnson had two doubles and an RBI for the Nationals.
Ramon Ortiz (10-13), who took a no-hitter into the ninth inning
against St. Louis on Monday, gave up seven runs and six hits in 6
"Matt gave us a big game when we needed it," Colorado manager
Clint Hurdle said. "He gave us big hits and none bigger than the
one he had in the seventh inning."
With the score tied 5-5, pinch-hitter Kazuo Matsui singled
leading off the seventh inning for Colorado and moved to second
base when catcher Robert Fick's throw pulled Felipe Lopez off the
bag at second on Jamey Carroll's bunt. One out later, Atkins was
walked intentionally to load the bases.
After Chris Schroder replaced Ortiz, Holliday drove a 1-2
fastball into center field for two runs to make it 7-5.
"That was a tough at-bat," Holliday said. "He got ahead of me
and gave me a nasty pitch that I managed to get the barrel of the
bat on for a hit."
On Ortiz's performance, Washington manager Frank Robinson said:
"We need to get better. We need to get better."
Robinson continued, "It's not good when you give up five runs
and leave two men on base."
Carroll added a two-run triple in the eighth.
The Nationals took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Johnson's
one-out RBI double to right.
Holliday keyed a three-run first inning for Colorado with a
two-run homer to right. Atkins also had an RBI single to make it
Ortiz's RBI grounder scored Fick with one out in the second
inning to pull Washington to 3-2, and Soriano tied the score with
his record-breaking homer leading off the fourth.
Ortiz appeared to settle down, retiring eight in row after
issuing a two-out walk to Carroll in the second. Carroll reached on
shortstop Lopez's throwing error with one out in the fifth, and
Atkins homered to straightaway center one out later to make it 5-3.
Washington tied it at 5-5 in the sixth inning. Nook Logan
reached on a drag bunt and Soriano walked before Nate Field
replaced Colorado starter Josh Fogg. Lopez greeted Field with an
RBI double off Hawpe's glove in right to score Logan. Soriano
scored on Ryan Zimmerman's grounder.
SS Lopez's sore left ankle was improved enough to be back
in Washington's starting lineup. ... The Nationals committed two
errors and have made 10 in the series. ... OF Cory Sullivan made a
leaping catch at the center-field wall on a fly ball hit by
Zimmerman. ... Colorado C Yorvit Torrealba has been shut down for
the season with a strained right shoulder. ... RHP Denny Bautista
will make his Rockies debut Tuesday at San Francisco.