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DENVER -- The Washington Nationals pitching staff is getting healthy, and with the way Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond are hitting, the defending NL East champions are hitting their stride just as summer heats up. Cowboys Jerseys Store . Zimmerman homered, doubled and drove in three runs, Desmond got four hits and the Nationals beat the depleted Colorado Rockies 5-4 on Thursday. Washington has been beset by injuries to its rotation, but with the return of starter Ross Detwiler on Thursday and Stephen Strasburg expected back Sunday, the Nationals feel confident heading into the last 97 games of the season. They trail Atlanta by 5 1/2 games in the division. "For us as a team right now, with the things that have gone on and the things that have happened, we just need to grind it out and stay where were at and stay within striking distance," Zimmerman said. "And then hopefully once we get going or maybe this is the start of that, where we can have a good 20-game span. Then all of a sudden were right back in it." The immediate future isnt as rosy for the Rockies, who lost four players and a coach, as well as the rubber match of the three-game series. Outfielders Carlos Gonzalez and Dexter Fowler were injured early and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki left with a rib injury in the eighth inning. Reliever Wilton Lopez and pitching coach Jim Wright were ejected in the seventh. Tulowitzkis injury appears to be the most serious. He left Coors Field to have an MRI done on his ribs, which manager Walt Weiss said have been sore for "about a week." The Rockies hoped to get the results of the MRI later Thursday. "Just hope the MRI doesnt show any damage and hopefully hell be day to day also," Weiss said. " Craig Stammen (4-2) threw two scoreless innings and Rafael Soriano got his 17th save after giving up an RBI single to pinch-hitter Todd Helton with two outs. Zimmermans RBI double off reliever Matt Belisle (4-3) in the eighth broke a tie, and he later scored on Desmonds infield single to make it 5-3. Tulowitzki, who was injured trying to make a play on Desmonds single, was replaced by a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the eighth, straining an already short Rockies bench. Gonzalez was hit near the ankle by a foul ball while on deck in the first inning and exited with a bruised left foot. The Rockies said X-rays were negative and listed the All-Star left fielder as day to day. Fowler was hit on the right hand by a pitch from Detwiler after squaring to bunt in the third. A team trainer looked at Fowler, and the centre fielder stayed in for another inning. Weiss said X-rays on Fowlers hand were negative and he is also day to day. "It was numb, I felt it swelling up," Fowler said. "Obviously I couldnt grip the bat so I couldnt hit. I just know it was hurting and swelling up. I dont think I had a chance to grip the bat." Detwiler was activated from the 15-day DL and made his first start since May 15. He lasted five innings, giving up three runs on six hits and striking out two. He was in line for the loss until the seventh, when things got heated between the umpiring crew and the Rockies. Desmond led off with a single and stole second. With two outs, Lopez was called for two balks, scoring Desmond to tie it at 3. The first balk was called by home plate umpire James Hoye and second base ump Bob Davidson. Jim Reynolds at third base called the second one. Crew chief John Hirschbeck said both balks were because Lopez used a stop-start motion with the hands. "Actually, he did it three times. They only called it twice," Washington manager Davey Johnson said. "He kept going toward his glove, and then he would stop. They called two out of three. But you cant be moving toward your glove and stop. Its an automatic balk." Lopez shouted at Hirschbeck at first base as he left the field after the inning ended and was ejected. Wright was tossed by Reynolds when he was giving Reynolds "the crazy gesture from the dugout," Hirschbeck said. "If youre going to call it once, you got to call it twice," Desmond said. "You got to keep on calling it. Consistency. They did a good job. Thats what we expect." The Rockies were in control before then. Tyler Colvin, who replaced Gonzalez, had an RBI single in the first and Michael Cuddyer drove in a run with a double in the fourth and later scored on a groundout to give the Rockies a 3-2 lead. Zimmerman had given the Nationals a 2-1 lead with a two-run homer in the third, his seventh of the season, the only blemish in an otherwise strong start for Jeff Francis. Francis entered Thursday with a tenuous hold on his spot in the Rockies rotation. He had a shaky start against San Diego on Saturday in his first outing since coming off the 15-day DL because of a groin strain. He needed 93 pitches to get through four innings against the Padres, and with veteran Roy Oswalt pitching well in the minors, Francis role with the Rockies was in question. Francis made his case with a solid outing against the Nationals. He allowed two runs on five hits and struck out eight, his most since May 24, 2008. "Its hard to be really happy when dont win the game," Francis said. NOTES: Desmond extended his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games. ... Strasburg (strained lat muscle) threw a successful bullpen session Thursday and is on track to start Sundays game at Cleveland. ... Cuddyer returned to the lineup after missing five games with a strained rib cage. ... To make room for Detwiler, the Nationals optioned RHP Erik Davis to Triple-A Syracuse. Mike White Jersey . Houston won 3-0 to advance to face New York in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Last in the game, Di Vaio and Romero got into a shoving match with several Houston players. Romero appeared to elbow and kick Houston defender Kofi Sarkodie. Dorance Armstrong Jersey . -- Aldon Smith believes he is on the path to being sober for good. http://www.authenticcowboysshopnfl.com/ . It is a cliché dragged out by fans and pundits regularly when discussions take place around which teams are better than others. Virginia Tech will pay homage to Frank Beamers attention to special teams when the Hokies play their first game in 30 years without the Hall of Fame coach on the sidelines.This week, with Beamers approval, a member of the Hokies special teams will wear Beamers retired No. 25 jersey instead of the unidentified players regular number in the season opener against Liberty. In subsequent weeks, the No. 25 jersey will be worn by Virginia Techs special teams player of the week.I do not know whos going to wear it, before you even ask, first-year Hokies coach Justin Fuente said. But its something that I think shows great pride in the past and pays tribute to the way ball has been played around here for some time.Its something our kids will be excited about as well.Excited enough to want to improve their chances of getting a turn in Beamers jersey.Yeah, I would love to wear that jersey, running back Sam Rogers said. Im going to be fighting to play on any special teams I can. Whatever I can do for this team, Im going to be doing. The more they let me do, the more Im going to be happy to do. If Ive got a chance to go down on kickoff and wear No. 25, thatd be awesome.During his 29-year career at his alma mater, Beamer served as his own special teams coach, and his teams scored 55 touchdowns on special teams, blocked 67 punts, 41 field goal attempts and 28 extra point attempts. The ability to turn games around quickly on special teams was a huge element of Virginia Techs rise in football prominence.Im really honored that a member of the special teams will get to wear my old numberr every week, Beamer said in a release from the school. Leighton Vander Esch Jersey. Of course, its not just a recognition of me -- its about all those coaches and kids who made special teams part of our identity at Virginia Tech.Defensive coordinator Bud Foster is a big fan of the effort to honor Beamer.I think its really, really cool, said Foster, who was with Beamer for all his 29 seasons at Virginia Tech and remained on staff when Fuente was hired. When coach Fuente brought that up, I was thrilled for coach. It makes a statement about what we have done here. Coast Fuente is building on what we have done in the past with some traditions as well as adding in his twist.Obviously, special teams and `Beamerball was a big part of our success, and I can tell you right now, that is not going to change as far as what our approach is to the football games.Fuente said he will tell the team and announce who will wear the jersey this week on Thursday.He may find that with just 12 games on the schedule, he might have to disappoint some who would like a turn.I think its special, wide receiver Isaiah Ford said. Everyone knows how much coach Beamer means to this program and means to us, especially me individually, the affect he had on my life. I think that its a cool tradition to kind of live on and to kind of honor him on the field. I think thatll be cool.---The APs college football page: www.collegefootball.ap.org---Follow Hank on Twitter: www.twitter.com/hankkurzjr Cheap Jerseys 2018 Cheap Jerseys Online Wholesale Jerseys 2018 Cheap Jerseys 2020 NFL Jerseys From China Jerseys Wholesale Cheap Jerseys From China ' ' ' 
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