Soto ends circuit drought, Nationals retain Rockies

WASHINGTON (AP) — Juan Soto ended a 15-game home drought with a two-point shot, Tanner Rainey had the last five outs and the Washington Nationals held off the Colorado Rockies 6-5 on Sunday.

Soto added a brace and a walk for the Nationals, who took three of the Rockies’ four to win their first home series. Lane Thomas homered for two runs.

“I’ve been swinging the bat pretty well the last few days,” Soto said after going 2-for-3. “I’ve been doing my homework, working on my swing, working on my stance and everything. Just feel good.

Rockies starter Kyle Freeland (1-5) came out with a foot injury with two outs in the sixth inning. He landed awkwardly on his 107th pitch and was helped off the field. Freeland was charged with five runs on seven hits. He walked four and took out two.

“As I pushed, I just felt a shooting pain at the top of my foot, right at the joint that was going down my foot,” Freeland said. “I have no idea what it was. I’ve never had it before, but it was good that the x-rays were negative. We think it was just a bit of an impact there , so we’ll see how I feel tomorrow.

Manager Bud Black doesn’t think Freeland should be on the injured list.

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

“Obviously, it’s the tying point there (in third). I can’t give it up. At least do your best not to,” Rainey said. “We knew we needed either a hard ground ball for the double play with the first guy or a strikeout. I ended up getting the strikeout, which gives you a bit more leeway.

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

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

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

“The way we came back, got hits on the opposite court, put the ball in play, that would have been nice,” Black said.

Soto hadn’t played a homer 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 down the first. He raised his average to 0.236.

“When he starts hitting the ball out of the baseball field, 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.

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