Desmond put on DL as Rockies clash with Nationals (Jul 29, 2017)

BY AP • July 28, 2017

WASHINGTON -- The rain, and more importantly a strained right calf, put a damper on Colorado Rockies outfielder Ian Desmond's return to the nation's capital.

Desmond, who played for the Washington Nationals from 2009-15, was making his first visit to Nationals Park as a visiting player, but was placed on the disabled list prior to Friday's game being postponed by rain.

"It's cool. I got a lot more emotional than I thought I would. It's good to see everybody," said Desmond, who was an All-Star shortstop for Washington in 2012. "It would have been really nice to get back out on the field here and kind of go through some of the routines."

Desmond is batting .285 with five home runs and 32 RBIs in 65 games for the Rockies. This will be his second stint on the disabled with a right calf strain, and his third stint on the DL this season.

"I think with this injury Desi felt, talking to me, talking to (head trainer Keith Dugger), this was the prudent thing to do," Colorado manager Bud Black said. "This was an injury that re-occurred. To try to go day-to-day and hopefully he would get better to the point where he can play his game might not have happened."

Desmond said he aggravated the injury while playing first base Tuesday against St. Louis.

"I think it was the second inning, a ground ball to short, and I broke to cover the bag and just felt it again," Desmond said. "I was going to play through it. I went out there for another inning and a half and then I just decided it's probably time to just be careful."

Friday's game will be made up Sunday as part of a split doubleheader between the National League East Division-leading Nationals and the Rockies, current holders of the second wild card spot. Friday's scheduled starters -- Colorado's German Marquez (8-4, 4.20 ERA) and Tanner Roark (8-6, 4.83) of Washington -- will pitch on Saturday.

Roark appears to have turned things around after a stretch in which he went 0-4 with an 8.78 ERA over six games (five starts). He is 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA in his last two starts.

"He wasn't hurt, but he wasn't the same Tanner he usually was for a while and then it gets in your mind, and you start trying to do more than you can do and you're operating from behind," Washington manager Dusty Baker said. "And now I feel like Tanner's caught up. His demeanor is much better, his control (is better), because he depends on his control."

Roark is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two career appearances (one start) against the Rockies. In an April 26 start against Colorado this season, Roark allowed five hits and two runs in five innings and picked up the win in an 11-4 Nationals victory.

Washington outscored the Rockies 46-29 in taking three of four at Colorado in April.

"They can hit. They can really hit," Baker said of the Rockies. "(In April), their bullpen was really, really good. It's still good, but (playing in) Colorado will wear your bullpen out over time."

The Rockies bolstered that bullpen, which ranks 12th in the NL in ERA, on Friday when they activated Pat Neshek. He was acquired in a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday in exchange for three minor leaguers. The two-time All-Star is 3-2 with a 1.12 ERA in 43 relief appearances this season.

"(He is) a guy who figures in the back end when the game is in the balance and he's been very capable of protecting leads and keeping leads where they are, and you feel comfortable about the performance," Black said. "He's proven that. He's another dependable arm in the back end of the bullpen."

Marquez is 0-1 with an 18.00 ERA against Washington after facing them on April 25 and allowing nine hits and eight runs. That was his first career appearance against the Nationals.

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