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Gazette Premium Content LaRoche's HR rallies Nationals past Rockies

photo - Washington Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche hits a three-run home run in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, in Denver. (AP Photo/Chris Schneider) + caption
Washington Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche hits a three-run home run in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, in Denver. (AP Photo/Chris Schneider)
The Associated Press Updated: July 22, 2014 at 10:43 pm

DENVER — Adam LaRoche hit a tiebreaking home run in the seventh, Anthony Rendon had three hits and the Washington Nationals rallied to beat the Colorado Rockies 7-4 on Tuesday night.

It was the Nationals fourth straight win and increased their NL East Division lead to two games over Atlanta, which lost to Miami on Tuesday.

Ian Desmond followed Monday's 5-for-5 performance with hits in his first two at-bats Tuesday for Washington. He was hit by a pitch in the sixth to reach base safely in eight consecutive plate appearances. The streak ended when he struck out in the seventh, but the Nationals had taken control on LaRoche's three-run homer off reliever Rex Brothers.

Nolan Arenado and Corey Dickerson homered for the Rockies, who have lost seven straight and remain tied with Texas for the worst record in the majors.

Before the game the Rockies placed shortstop Troy Tulowitzki on the 15-day disabled list with a left hip flexor strain and recalled left-hander Yohan Flande.

Tulowitzki is the third Colorado player in two days to hit the disabled list. First baseman Justin Morneau (neck) and reliever Boone Logan (diverticulitis) were put on the DL on Monday, adding to the long list of Rockies out of action.

Flande started well before faltering in the sixth. He allowed four runs on five hits and walked two in 5 1-3 innings. He left with a 4-2 lead and runners on the corners, but Colorado's bullpen couldn't hold it.

Ryan Zimmerman made it 4-3 with a fielder's choice but left the game after hitting the first base bag hard trying to beat out his grounder.

Wilin Ramos tied the game with an infield single, and then the Nationals broke it open in the seventh.

Brooks Brown (0-1) walked Denard Span and Rendon singled. Brothers relieved Brown one out later and LaRoche pulled a 93-mph fastball into the Rockies bullpen to make it 7-4. It was his 13th of the season.

Reliever Craig Stammen (1-4) pitched a scoreless inning to get the win. Rafael Soriano worked the ninth for his 23rd save.

The Rockies took a 1-0 lead in the second on DJ LeMahieu's RBI triple to right. Arenado made it 3-0 in the second with a two-run homer to center. It was his seventh of the season and first since May 5.

The Nationals got two back in the fourth before Dickerson's solo shot to the upper deck in the fifth made it 4-2.

Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann allowed four runs on eight hits and struck out six in five innings. He has just one win since June 8.

NOTES: LaRoche holds the franchise record for consecutive plate appearances reaching base safely with nine. ... LeMahieu finished with three hits. ... Washington RHP Stephen Strasburg (7-7, 3.55) will face Rockies LHP Jorge De La Rosa (10-6, 4.39) in the series finale on Wednesday.

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