Nationals 5, Rockies 3

Ian Desmond didn’t feel like celebrating his four-hit game. Not

after one of them put the opposing starter in the hospital.

Desmond’s first swing was a liner that hit Colorado Rockies

starter Juan Nicasio in the head, knocking him out of the game the

Washington Nationals won 5-3 Friday night.

Nicasio suffered a neck injury when he was struck in the second

inning. The ball slammed into the right side of Nicasio’s head with

a smack and caromed away, rolling over the first-base line.

The right-hander went down and lay flat on his back on the mound

for several minutes as he was attended to by training staff. He was

moved onto a cart by four medical personnel, helped by teammate

Todd Helton and manager Jim Tracy.

He could be seen blinking and moving his hands and legs before

he was put on a stability board and loaded onto a cart.

Nicasio (4-4) was taken to the hospital where the team said he

was resting comfortably and undergoing tests.

”It’s hard to see another ballplayer get hurt,” Desmond said.

”I hope he’s OK.”

Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann said he was hit by a liner

throwing batting practice in college and understands what Nicasio

is going through.

”Freaky things like that happen,” he said. ”I saw the ball

coming when I was hit. I tried to get my glove up and the ball hit

me in the jaw. I went down and the adrenaline took over. I was out

about a month.”

The injury overshadowed the Nationals’ fourth road win in 11

games since the All-Star Break. Michael Morse had a homer among his

three hits, Rick Ankiel also had three hits and Ryan Zimmerman and

Danny Espinosa had two hits each for Washington. Drew Storen got

the last four outs for his 28th save.

Zimmermann (7-9) allowed just two hits through the first five

innings as Washington built a 4-0 lead. Ankiel and Espinosa each

singled to lead off the game off Nicasio (4-4) and Zimmerman

tripled to make it 2-0.

They added another run in the fourth when Zimmermann reached on

a two-out bloop double and scored on Ankiel’s single to right.

Morse hit his 19th homer with one out in the fifth to make it

4-0.

The Rockies finally got to Zimmermann in the sixth. Helton

doubled with one out and Tulowitzki singled to put runners at the

corners. Zimmermann struck out Seth Smith before being relieved by

Henry Rodriguez.

”I took him out because his velocity was dropping down a little

bit,” Nationals manager Davey Johnson said.

Chris Nelson greeted Rodriguez with a single to center to make

it 4-1. Ian Stewart’s bloop single to center scored Tulowitzki and

Iannetta followed with a single to score Nelson to make it 4-3.

Pinch-hitter Ty Wigginton walked to load the bases.

Tyler Clippard relieved Rodriguez and worked the count to 3-0

before Young looked at three straight strikes to end the

inning.

Morse’s RBI single in the ninth made it 5-3.

Notes: Desmond now has six four-hit games in his career. …

Zimmermann also had two hits. It was his third career multi-hit

game. … Colorado’s Jhoulys Chacin will be matched against

Washington’s Livan Hernandez in Saturday’s game. Chacin has a

career ERA of 3.39, the lowest in franchise history for a pitcher

with at least 40 starts. His .214 opponents’ batting average is a

franchise best, too. Hernandez was 3-3 with a 8.03 ERA in eight

starts for the Rockies in 2008.