Series: Game 3 of 4

Washington leads 2-1 (as of 8/7)

Game 1: Monday, August 4
Game 2: Tuesday, August 5
Game 3: Wednesday, August 6
Game 3: Thursday, August 7
Game 4: Thursday, August 7

Nationals 6

(43-71, 20-38 away)

Rockies 3

(52-64, 32-24 home)

    3:05 PM ET, August 7, 2008

    Coors Field, Denver, Colorado 

    123456789 R H E
    WAS 000032100 6 10 0
    COL 000000012 3 10 1

    W: J. Bergmann (2-8)

    L: J. Francis (3-8)

    S: J. Hanrahan (2)

    Nationals defeat Rockies in opener of doubleheader

    DENVER -- Jeff Francis hoped to get his season turned around Thursday. Lastings Milledge spoiled that plan.

    Milledge homered twice and drove in a career-high four runs, and Jason Bergmann earned his first win in nearly three months to help the Washington Nationals beat the Colorado Rockies 6-3 in the first game of a doubleheader.

    It was Milledge's second multihomer game. The other one came on Sept. 29 last year with the New York Mets.

    "He got himself into a good count, got a pitch he could hit, and hammered it both times," Nationals manager Manny Acta said.

    Bergmann (2-8) gave up one run and seven hits in seven-plus innings. He struck out seven and walked two.

    "He did a fantastic job for us, especially in this ballpark, with their lineup," Acta said.

    Bergmann had a shutout going until Matt Holliday led off the eighth with his 22nd homer.

    "He kept the ball down, he kept it out of the middle of the plate and his curveball was extremely effective," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said.

    Yorvit Torrealba hit a two-run homer off Washington reliever Steven Shell in the ninth. Joel Hanrahan came on and gave up a single to Cory Sullivan, then retired the next three batters for his second save.

    Francis (3-8) took the loss in his first start since June 28 in Detroit. The left-hander came off the disabled list Wednesday and wanted to start over after a rough beginning to the season, but he gave up five runs on eight hits and struck out three in 5 1/3 innings.

    He started strong Thursday, but ran into trouble in the fifth and sixth.

    "I thought I was throwing my fastball down pretty consistently and got some groundball outs," Francis said. "The fifth and sixth inning, I was leaving some balls up."

    Francis faced the minimum through three innings before the Nationals got to him in the fifth. Milledge led off with a home run to left, and with one out Ronnie Belliard singled and Willie Harris doubled him home. After Bergmann grounded out, Emilio Bonifacio tripled to make it 3-0.

    Milledge's two-run homer in the sixth chased Francis and gave the Nationals a 5-0 lead.

    "Bottom line, they weren't good pitches and they made me pay," Francis said. "It didn't go as well as I hoped."

    Washington got another run in the seventh when reliever Jason Grilli's two-out error led to Milledge's RBI single.

    Hurdle said he expects RHP Livan Hernandez to be in uniform Friday. The Rockies acquired Hernandez from Minnesota on Thursday. ... The Nationals franchise and Colorado have played two previous doubleheaders, both in 1999 as a result of the Columbine High School shooting in April of that year. The Nationals, then the Montreal Expos, swept the first doubleheader on Aug. 12, and two days later the Rockies swept a doubleheader from the Expos.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press