- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 2, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) - Colorado fell behind early, and never caught up against Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals.

This has been one rough stretch for Walt Weiss and the Rockies.

Christian Friedrich was knocked out in the fourth inning and Colorado managed just five hits in a 7-1 loss at Washington on Tuesday night.

The Rockies have lost two in a row and 13 of 15 overall. They have the worst team ERA in the major leagues.

“Tough to play from behind against Strasburg,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. “We got down early. Made it tough.”

Strasburg bounced back from his worst outing of the season with 7 2-3 strong innings, and Jayson Werth had two doubles and three RBIs.

The Nationals scored three times in the first against Friedrich (0-3), who was charged with five runs and five hits in 3 1-3 innings. The left-hander walked four and struck out three.

Friedrich has dropped each of his three starts since being called up June 21, allowing 14 earned runs and 21 hits in 13 1-3 innings

But Strasburg (7-6) bounced back nicely after tying his career high by allowing seven earned runs in 4 2-3 innings in his last start. The right-hander was 0-2 with a 7.27 ERA in his previous three outings.

Strasburg allowed one run and five hits against Colorado. He struck out eight and walked one.

The Rockies didn’t get a runner past second until DJ LeMahieu’s homer in the eighth.

“(Strasburg) attacked the zone and worked from ahead,” said Justin Morneau, who went 1 for 3. “I think his command was probably the best thing he had going for him.”

Reliever Chad Bettis contributed to the rout. He gave up two runs in two innings and tossed two wild pitches. Werth scored on the second errant throw for a 7-0 lead, capping a four-run fourth inning started by Strasburg’s double.

Washington got off to a fast start. Denard Span and Anthony Rendon walked to open the first, and Werth hit a smash past third baseman Ryan Wheeler, scoring both runners.

“Getting behind in the count,” Friedrich said of his primary issue. “Two walks, not a good start.”

Werth later scored on Ryan Zimmerman’s sacrifice fly.

Rendon added a two-run double for Washington, which has won four straight. Bryce Harper went 1 for 5 in his second game back from the disabled list.

Colorado dropped to 12 games under .500 at 36-48, but Weiss looked past a question about possible changes.

“We’re not going to make any decisions right now. Just keep rolling,” the manager said.

The Rockies put men on in four of the first six innings against Strasburg, but were never able to bunch together their hits.

“Every day you can’t worry about what happened yesterday,” Morneau said. “You’re not going to change it. If you start thinking that way, that’s when you get in trouble. When you can put today behind us and come back and try and win a game tomorrow and start over, that’s what good teams are able to do.”

NOTES: In middle of 20 straight days with a game, Weiss rested SS Troy Tulowitzki and OF Charlie Blackmon. Blackmon grounded out as a pinch hitter in the eighth. … Rockies LHP Brett Anderson (broken finger), on the DL since April 13, is scheduled to make his first rehab start Wednesday for Triple-A Colorado Springs. … Colorado LHP Tyler Matzek (1-2, 4.24 ERA) opposes RHP Doug Fister (6-2, 2.83 ERA) in Wednesday’s series finale.

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