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Nationals cap 11-1 victory with Turner's historic cycle

Patrick Lyons Avatar
July 24, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Amidst the dog days of summer and a season-long ten-game road trip, the temperatures in the capitol allowed a brief respite from the sauna-like conditions over the weekend. However, the Nationals still turned on the heat from pitch number one through an eight-run rally in the seventh.

Something else was in the air Tuesday night as both starters – Colorado’s Peter Lambert and Washington’s Stephen Strasburg – combined to strike out 16 hitters or eight apiece.

Strasburg was particularly dominant, allowing only five base runners and immediately punctuating the next at bat with a strikeout in four those instances. Twice, Rockies’ hitters doubled – Trevor Story and Charlie Blackmon – and each time the 2009 1st overall selection in the MLB Draft retired two-straight to end the threat.

The curveball played a key role throughout the night, some of the best Bud Black had seen from his fellow San Diego State alum. McMahon seconded, “He had the curveball going tonight. Kind of throwing it when guys weren’t expecting it. Throwing it well, too. He kept the ball down really well, went up when he wanted to and didn’t leave a lot over the plate for us.”

The Nationals attacked in the form of a Trea Turner leadoff home run to left center, the ninth of his young career; he reared his head to historic proportions during the evening. Adam Eaton followed with a double and eventually scored on a Matt Adams single to stake Washington to an early 2-0 lead after the first.

Lambert was on track for a quality performance as well. He scattered six hits after the first inning and recorded all eight K’s over the next four frames. The 22-year-old really impressed during the fifth inning. After a leadoff triple to Turner and a walk to Eaton, he mowed down three straight Nats in the heart of their order.

Sam Howard made his 2019 debut, allowing a pinch hit from Andrew Stevenson to credit Lambert with his final earned run. From there, things went from bad to worse to ugly.

Howard would complete an inning of work, giving up three runs on three hits, but would leave with traffic on the base paths. Jairo Díaz came on to reduce the damage, but the 28-year-old had struggles of his own; he’d give up five runs on five hits, including Turner’s double to give the young shortstop a cycle for the game.

Turner records the second cycle of his early career and just the fourth in Nationals history; his first came on April 25, 2017 against these same Rockies at Coors Field. He also becomes just the 26th player in MLB history with more than one cycle and just the third to do it against a team twice.

The cycle is the tenth against Colorado in franchise history with the last occurrence being Turner. It is also the first cycle the franchise has given up on the road.

Yonder Alonso would also make his debut for the Rockies, doubling to score Ian Desmond in the ninth to break the shutout.

Wednesday is a day-night doubleheader for Colorado and Washington with Jon Gray and Kyle Freeland starting against Erick Fedde and Patrick Corbin, respectively.

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