Ryan McMahon draws bases-loaded walk on pitch-clock violation, Rockies beat Nationals 8-7

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DENVER — Ryan McMahon drew a bases-loaded walk on a full-count, pitch-clock violation by Kyle Finnegan, and the Colorado Rockies scored two runs in the ninth inning for an 8-7 victory over the Washington Nationals on Saturday night.

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It was the first game decided by a pitch-clock violation in major league history. Nationals closer Finnegan leads the league with nine pitch-clock violations this season.

“I’m just trying to focus on the pitch and then location,” Finnegan said. “I thought I picked up the clock. I guess by the time I picked up and looked at the catcher and delivered the pitch, I was just a hair too late. Those situations, it just can’t happen. We deserved to win and I wasn’t able to do my job.”

Colorado had four straight singles to open the ninth off Finnegan (2-4) to bring up McMahon, who fell behind 0-2. Hunter Goodman and Jake Cave singled to open the inning, and Brenton Doyle singled to tie it after fouling off two bunt attempts. Ezequiel Tovar hit a line single to right to load the bases. Finnegan had converted 21 of his previous 23 save chances.

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“You hate to see a game decided that way, but I’m happy it worked out in our favor,” McMahon said. “I’m never looking (at the clock). I’m letting the umpire do his job. I didn’t know what was going on until the umpire said something.”

The pitch clock was adopted in 2023, but the time between pitches with runners on base was shortened from 20 seconds to 18 this season.

“Kyle has had some trouble lately with the clock,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said. “It hadn’t really cost him to that point, but it’s something that we’ve kind of felt like might come back to haunt him at some point. He could have stepped off, but it’s a tough situation.

“That’s something that he has to be mindful of. He’s just slow. So it burned him today. Typically it hasn’t burned him.”

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Luis Garcia hit a two-run homer to give Washington a 7-5 lead in the eighth inning and CJ Abrams had three his including his 12th home run. The Nationals had won 10 of 13.

Abrams finished a triple short of the cycle while extending his hitting streak to 13 games. He had two RBIs and scored twice.

Brendan Rodgers, Goodman and McMahon homered for the Rockies, who tied it on Goodman’s homer in the seventh off Jacob Barnes. Goodman has five homers in the last eight games. McMahon had three hits, and his bases-empty homer in the eighth inning brought the Rockies within a run at 7-6.

“The Rockies and the Nationals are part of history,” Colorado manager Bud Black said. “How about that?”

Ezequiel Tovar singled, and walked and scored twice. He scored on catcher Jacob Stallings’ single in the first inning and on Rodgers’ three-run homer for a 4-2 lead in the third. Rodgers played his first game since June 7, when he suffered a hamstring injury. He hit cleanup for the eighth time this season.

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Abrams and Lane Thomas singled in runs for a 5-4 lead in the seventh inning, but the Nationals ran themselves out of more when Abrams and Thomas were thrown out attempting to steal second. Thomas had two hits.

The Nationals are third in the majors with 104 stolen bases but have been thrown out a major league-high 38 times. Stallings threw out three of four Nationals’ runners attempting to steal, all at second.

“Getting thrown out is not going to stop us from being aggressive on the base paths,” Abrams said. “We’re going to keep doing what we are doing.”

Nationals starter Mitchell Parker gave up four runs and six hits while striking out eight, including the final five he faced. He had not given up more than three earned runs in any of his previous 12 starts.

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Colorado starter Cal Quantrill gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings for his ninth quality start. He left with a 4-3 lead.

Washington left fielder Jesse Winkler was ejected by home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt after taking a called third strike for the second out in the fifth inning. Winkler briefly argued with Wendelstedt at the plate, and he was ejected after going into the dugout, his sixth career ejection.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rockies: RHP Jake Bird (groin tightness) was removed from the game after facing three batters in he seventh inning. … RF Sean Bouchard (back soreness) was replaced after three innings. … RHP German Marquez (Tommy John surgery) gave up one hit in four scoreless innings in a rehab start for Class A Spokane on Saturday. He struck out three, walked two and threw 50 pitches.

UP NEXT

Colorado LHP Kyle Freeland (0-3, 13.21 ERA) is expected to be activated from the injured list to make his fifth start Sunday, his first since April 14, after missing nine weeks a left elbow strain. He will oppose Nationals RHP Jake Irvin (5-6, 3.24).

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