Washington Nationals (54-43) at Colorado Rockies (40-59), 8:40 p.m. (ET)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Washington Nationals try to beat the Colorado Rockies for the fifth straight time this season on Tuesday when they continue a three-game series at Coors Field.
Washington improved to 4-0 versus the Rockies on Monday, as Ian Desmond smacked a two-run homer to highlight a 5-for-5 night to go with three runs scored to power the Nationals to a 7-2 win.
Danny Espinosa went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI and a run scored, while Doug Fister (9-2) allowed two runs on nine hits and two walks over 5 2/3 innings for the Nationals, who have won three straight games overall and moved a game in front of the Atlanta Braves in the National League East.
"Guys are swinging the bat well and playing good defense," Fister said.
Franklin Morales (5-5) surrendered four runs -- three earned -- on nine hits and four walks over six frames for Colorado, which has dropped four consecutive contests.
"He had the one tough inning, that fourth. Other than that he threw well," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.
Hoping to keep the Nats atop the division standings on Tuesday will be righty Jordan Zimmermann, who is 6-5 with a 3.03 ERA. Zimmermann is coming off an awful showing his last time out on July 11 in Philadelphia, as the Phillies battered him for four runs in just 3 1/3 innings.
He left that game with a biceps strain and had to miss the All-Star Game. However, he came through a bullpen session over the weekend with no problems.
"I obviously wanted to be there," said Zimmermann, who missed last year's Midsummer Classic because of a neck injury. "I felt all along it was going to be fine. I knew that the break would help. ... I knew it wasn't that bad and just something where I needed a little rest."
Zimmermann has dominated the Rockies over the course of his career, going 5-0 with a 1.64 ERA in seven starts. He beat them back on June 30, holding them to a pair of runs in six innings.
Colorado, meanwhile, will turn to lefty Yohan Flande, who has lost his last two starts, including one to Zimmermann and the Nats two starts ago. The rookie is 0-2 on the year with a 7.36 ERA.
Flande gave up three runs and six hits in 5 1/3 frames to the Nats, then surrendered five runs and nine hits over 4 1/3 innings in a loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers his next time out.
Washington has won eight of its last 10 matchups against the Rockies.