Call, Candelario start game with homers, Nats beat Rox 10-5

Washington Nationals' Alex Call watches his solo home run off Colorado Rockies starting pitcher...
Washington Nationals' Alex Call watches his solo home run off Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Jose Urena during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, April 7, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)(David Zalubowski | AP)
Published: Apr. 7, 2023 at 10:38 PM MDT
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DENVER (AP) — Alex Call and Jeimer Candelario hit back-to-back homers to start the game, CJ Abrams drove in three runs with a pair of triples and the Washington Nationals beat the Colorado Rockies 10-5 on Friday night.

MacKenzie Gore (2-0) turned in another strong performance and now has earned both wins for the Nationals (2-6) this season. The left-hander scattered two runs over six innings.

Call set the tone for the Nationals on a night the team collected 19 hits. In addition to the first leadoff homer of his career, he also brought home a run with a bases-loaded walk and another on a sacrifice fly.

Abrams kept up his torrid hitting with a three-hit, three-RBI performance. He’s batting .467 over his last four games.

Gore and Abrams were both acquired by the Nationals last summer as part of the deal that sent Juan Soto to the San Diego Padres.

Rockies starter José Ureña (0-2) never found his rhythm and lasted only 2 2/3 innings. The righty allowed six runs — four earned — and seven hits while walking three. It’s been a difficult start to the season for Ureña, whose ERA fell from 15.43 to 14.40 despite the rocky outing.

Trailing 8-2 in the seventh, the Rockies scored three times to tighten things up. But the Nationals responded with two in the eighth to begin the fan exodus from Coors Field.

Ryan McMahon lined his second homer of the season for Colorado, while Kris Bryant had a walk and an RBI single. Bryant has reached base in 45 of his 50 games since signing with the Rockies last season.


Rockies: Manager Bud Black remains unsure when closer Daniel Bard will begin facing hitters. Bard’s on the injured list due to anxiety.


Washington manager Dave Martinez doesn’t mind mixing it up at the leadoff spot for the right matchup. Given Ureña’s tendency to walk batters and Call’s peskiness at the plate, Martinez figured the matchup was tilted in Washington’s favor.

“I’ll put some big, heavy hitters up there to see if we can get that first run early,” Martinez explained.


Black believes that preparing for the World Baseball Classic has played a role in Kyle Freeland’s hot start this season. The lefty is 2-0 and has yet to give up a run.

“It helped the mindset, I’m sure, pitching in those games,” Black explained. “It was the intense competition that got him ready early.”

Freeland threw six innings over two games for the United States, which lost in the final to Japan.


Washington righty Trevor Williams (0-1, 5.40) will throw Saturday while lefty Austin Gomber (0-1, 4.50) gets the start for Colorado.