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So a game of squandered chances reached the eighth inning with Carlos Gonzalez leading off for the Rockies, just as it did the night before, with the Nationals trailing by a run. And again, Gonzalez blasted a home run that stretched the Rockies’ lead to two and put things just a little too far out of reach.

“We were lucky we weren’t down five or six early,” interim manager Jim Riggleman said. “I’ve said it before, and it sounds a little Pollyannaish, but I love working with this group. They’re enjoying playing this competition that’s going to be playoff-bound. They’re meeting them head-on. We’re just coming up a little short.”