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Soto snaps homer drought, Nationals hold off Rockies 6-5

Juan Soto snapped a 15-game home run drought with a two-run shot, Tanner Rainey got the final five outs and the Nats held off the Colorado Rockies.
Credit: AP
Washington Nationals' Juan Soto gestures after hitting a double in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Sunday, May 29, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — Juan Soto snapped a 15-game home run drought with a two-run shot, Tanner Rainey got the final five outs and the Washington Nationals held off the Colorado Rockies 6-5 Sunday.

Soto added a double and a walk for the Nationals, who took three of four from the Rockies. Lane Thomas had a two-run homer.

Rockies starter Kyle Freeland (1-5) exited with an apparent left leg injury with two outs in the sixth inning. He landed awkwardly on his 107th pitch and pointed to his leg. Freeland, who was helped off the field, was charged with five runs on seven hits. He walked four and struck out two.

RELATED: Rockies pitcher Kyle Freeland leaves game against Nationals with injury

Credit: AP
Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black, left, looks on as starting pitcher Kyle Freeland, second from right, is assisted off the field in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Sunday, May 29, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

RELATED: Rockies reveal new city-inspired uniforms

After pulling within 6-3 in the seventh, the Rockies got RBI singles from Brendan Rodgers and Sam Hilliard with one out in the eighth against Kyle Finnegan. With runners on first and third, Nationals closer Rainey struck out Elias Diaz and Charlie Blackmon.

Rainey finished with a 1-2-3 ninth for his fifth save.

Nationals starter Josiah Gray (5-4) worked around three hits and four walks to allow one run over five innings.

Blackmon led off the game with his seventh homer for the Rockies, who finished their road trip 2-5 and are 7-15 away from home this season. Rodgers went 2 for 4 to extend his hitting streak to 16 games, matching his career high.

Soto hadn't homered since May 12 against the Mets. He gave Washington a 2-1 lead when he hit his ninth of the season, a line drive to center in the bottom of the first. He raised his average to .236.

“When he starts hitting the ball out of the ballpark, it’s going to come in bunches," manager Dave Martinez said before the game.

Thomas hit a two-run homer in the sixth to make it 6-1.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (thoracic outlet surgery) pitched five scoreless innings Sunday in his second rehab appearance for Class A Fredericksburg. He didn’t allow a hit while striking out six and walking one. He threw 58 pitches.

UP NEXT

Rockies: RHP Ryan Feltner (0-1, 5.40 ERA) will make third start of the season when Colorado opens a three-game series against the visiting Marlins. He allowed two runs over five innings while striking out seven on May 25 against the Pirates.

Nationals: RHP Erick Fedde (3-3, 3.55 ERA) pitches the opener of a three-game road series against the Mets. Fedde is 0-3 with a 5.04 ERA in 14 career games — nine starts — versus New York.

RELATED: Rockies split Saturday doubleheader with Nationals

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