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Nats-Rockies LIVE game thread - 4:05 p.m.

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Nats-Rockies LIVE game thread - 4:05 p.m.

GO TO THE LIVE GAME THREAD ON NATSINSIDER.COM RIGHT HERE

Chase Hughes here once again for the second game of the Washington Nationals vs. Colorado Rockies series at Nationals Park. Another day, another record heat index as we could see temperatures reach as high as 106 degrees in Washington. All-Star Gio Gonzalez makes his final start before the break as he looks for his 12th win of the season. Gio is 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA having earned the 'W' in each of his last three starts. His ERA at Nationals Park this season is a crisp 2.42.The Rockies will look for two straight and a series win as manager Jim Tracy sends lefty Jeff Francis to the mound. Francis is 2-1 this season with a 5.16 ERA, but has earned the win in each of his last two outings. He has allowed two runs or less in four consecutive starts. COLORADO ROCKIES at WASHINGTON NATIONALSWhere: Nationals ParkGametime: 4:05 p.m. EDTTV: MASN, MLB.tvRadio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 185Weather: Mostly clear, 103 degrees, Wind 10 mph LF to RFNATIONALS (48-33)

2B Danny Espinosa
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Michael Morse
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
LF Tyler Moore
C Jesus Flores
LHP Gio Gonzalez

ROCKIES (32-51)

CF Dexter Fowler2B Marco Scutaro
LF Carlos Gonzalez
1B Michael Cuddyer
RF Tyler Colvin
3B Jordan Pacheco
C Wilin Rosario
SS Jonathan Herrera
LHP Jeff Francis

UMPIRES
HP Mike Dimuro
1B Jim Reynolds
2B James Hoye
3B Jim Joyce

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Nationals stage spirited rally in ninth but fall just short in series opener vs. Cubs

Nationals stage spirited rally in ninth but fall just short in series opener vs. Cubs

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Wade Davis struck out batting leader Ryan Zimmerman with runners on second and third to end Washington's ninth-inning rally, and the Chicago Cubs held off the Nationals 5-4 Monday night.

In jeopardy of being shut out for the first time this season, the NL East-leading Nationals scored four times in the ninth. Their comeback began against Hector Rondon and continued when Davis entered.

MORE: CSN'S UPDATED MLB POWER RANKINGS

With Washington down 5-3, Bryce Harper's single loaded the bases with two outs. Davis threw a wild pitch that scored a run before striking out a swinging Zimmerman, who's hitting .344. The final pitch bounced, and catcher Willson Contreras zipped a low throw to first baseman Anthony Rizzo to close out the victory.

Contreras hit a leadoff home run in his first career game-opening at-bat and Eddie Butler (4-2) worked five scoreless innings to keep the Cubs ahead.

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2017 MLB Power Rankings: The Dodgers don't lose anymore

2017 MLB Power Rankings: The Dodgers don't lose anymore

The Dodgers are living their best life right now. 

Cody Bellinger looks like he's just going to go and hit two home runs a game for the rest of the year, Yasiel Puig is fun again and they're fresh off a 10-game win streak. Kenley Jansen went 112 batters without issuing a walk. All of this is coming, by the way, during a year when Clayton Kershaw is more Very Good than he is Great.

It's a good time to be a fan of an incredibly young and talented team in a top-5 market with a well-regarded front office that's been written a blank check. How did everyone not named the Dodgers do this week? To the rankings! 

2017 MLB POWER RANKINGS

30. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

2017 Record: 24-49
Previous Ranking: 30
Last 10 Games: 3-7
Notable Performance:  Maikel Franco (.333/.419/.481 last week)

And there goes Maikel Franco, right back on the trade block. The Phillies' rebuild is starting to look a lot murkier. 

29. SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

2017 Record: 27-50
Previous Ranking: 29
Last 10 Games: 1-9
Notable Performance: Brandon Belt (.316/.409/.947 last week)

It's weird to see the Giants play THIS poorly. Johnny Cueto is arguably the best available starter on the trade market though, and that obviously bodes well for their future. 

28. CINCINNATI REDS

2017 Record: 29-38
Previous Ranking: 27
Last 10 Games: 1-9
Notable Performance: Joey Votto (.360/.385/.680 last week)

When you go 1-9 over the last 10 and let the Nats put an 18-spot on you, you drop a spot or two in the rankings. Them's the rules. 

27. SAN DIEGO PADRES

2017 Record: 31-44
Previous Ranking: 29
Last 10 Games: 6-4
Notable Performance: Yangervis Solarte (.364/.462/.909 last week)

In an annual July tradition, the Padres will fleece someone for one of their relievers. Brad Hand in a Dodgers uniform, anyone? 

26. DETROIT TIGERS

2017 Record: 32-42
Previous Ranking: 15
Last 10 Games: 2-8
Notable Performance: Miguel Cabrera (.400/.444/.840 last week)

The Tigers are our biggest fallers of the week. 2-8 in their last 10, including a frustrating Perfect Game bid broken up by a bunt single. Not their best week. 

SEE THE REST OF THE RANKINGS HERE