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Trea Turner hits for cycle in Washington Nationals' 15-12 win over Colorado Rockies

By
Jack Etkin, The Sports Xchange

DENVER -- Trea Turner hit for the cycle, drove in a career-high seven runs Tuesday night and picked an ideal time to accomplish the feat for the Washington Nationals.

While holding off the Colorado Rockies 15-12, the Nationals raced to a seven-run lead in the second.

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They saw their margin dwindle to three runs in the fifth, built the lead to 10 runs in the seventh and watched the Rockies get the scent of a stunning comeback by scoring the final seven runs of the game.

"That's Coors Field at its finest," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "No lead is safe. No deficit is secure. You just got to keep playing and keep playing and keep scoring. Boy, I haven't played one like that in a long time."

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It was 43 degrees when the game began after a 66-minute rain delay.

Turner fought off the cold and three Rockies pitchers while going 4-for-6. He singled in the first, doubled home two runs in the second, hit his first homer of the season in the sixth (a two-run shot), and tripled home three runs in the seventh off Scott Oberg.

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It was the third cycle in Nationals history.

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The triple was an opposite-field drive into the right field corner.

While the hit highlighted a five-run inning and gave the Nationals a 14-5 lead, Turner said he wasn't thinking about a triple when he came to bat.

"I was trying to survive the cold and a big at-bat, too," Turner said. "Bases loaded, one out, I was just trying to get the ball to the outfield. I didn't want to hit into a double play. They got some good arms over there. I actually was not thinking about it. And it's funny, when you don't think about it, it happens."

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Turner pulled up at second, said that's when he first thought about a triple, and he continued on to third.

It was the second cycle of the season, both at Coors Field. The San Diego Padres' Wil Myers accomplished the feat on April 10.

As happy as he was to complete the cycle, Turner, whose previous career-high was three RBIs, was more pleased with driving in seven runs.

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"I think that's more impressive almost, because hitting at the top of the lineup I don't get a ton of opportunities to (drive in runs)," Turner said.

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Daniel Murphy tied his career high with five RBIs while going 3-for-5 with a three-run triple that highlighted a five-run second against German Marquez, who was making his 2016 debut.

Marquez (0-1) lasted four innings, giving up nine hits and eight runs, the final seven with two outs.

"He hung a few," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "He hung that one to Turner with two strikes, and he hit it down the left field line (for a two-run double), and that cost him. It's a learning experience against a very good lineup."

Washington starter Joe Ross was unable to qualify for the win as he worked only 4 2/3 innings, allowing seven hits and five runs.

"Tried to nurse him through that fifth inning," Baker said, "but it just got to the point where they were threatening to take the ballgame. So we had to do what we had to do to win the ballgame."

The Rockies trailed 7-0 in the second but chipped away by scoring in four consecutive innings on a home run by Carlos Gonzalez in the second, a single by Charlie Blackmon in the third and a home run by Mark Reynolds in the fourth. After DJ LeMahieu and Nolan Arenado doubled in runs to trim the Nationals' lead to 8-5, Ross issued a two-out walk and was relieved by Enny Romero.

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Romero (2-1), the losing pitcher Monday, retired Gerardo Parra on a ground out to end the fifth and worked 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

Turner's triple highlighted a five-run seventh that put the Nationals ahead 15-5. But the Rockies scored two runs in the bottom half and four in the eighth when Blackmon hit a two-run homer, his seventh of the season. Blackmon had three hits and three RBIs.

Baker was forced to call on closer Shawn Kelley to pitch the ninth. Parra greeted him with his third homer before Kelley retired the next three batters to end the game.

With two outs in the second, Marquez walked Ross on eight pitches, the start of a five-run uprising that put the Nationals ahead 7-0.

"I wouldn't say I was the reason for the inning, but I tried to work the count best I could," Ross said. "Just try to be a productive batter there in the nine hole, and it turned into something good."

NOTES: At least one run was scored in every inning. ... Rockies CF Charlie Blackmon extended his hitting streak to 10 games, going 3-for-5. ... Rockies 1B/OF Stephen Cardullo was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque to clear a roster spot for RHP German Marquez, who was recalled to make the start. ... Rockies 1B Ian Desmond (fractured left hand) is close to playing in games at extended spring training. ... Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg, who was placed on the paternity list Monday, and his wife, Rachel, welcomed their second child and second daughter. ... Washington 1B Ryan Zimmerman was moved to the cleanup spot because of his solid start after hitting fifth most of the month. He went 1-for-4 with a walk and scored two runs.

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