WASHINGTON (AP) - John Lannan never had a chance.
Ty Wigginton hit a line drive back toward the mound and Lannan tried to get his glove on the ball, but it deflected off his mitt and smashed off his nose.
That was the end of Lannan's night, but fortunately the Washington Nationals left-hander escaped serious injury. He walked off the field and was diagnosed with a nasal contusion.
Wigginton's hit was the third straight single off Lannan in the fourth, and the Colorado Rockies capitalized to beat Washington 3-2 on Friday night, ending a five-game losing streak.
Jason Hammel pitched into the seventh inning for his second win in 13 starts.
All three Rockies runs came in the fourth. Todd Helton scored on a balk, and Wigginton and Cole Garner each had a run-scoring single. Lannan (5-6) left the game in that inning after Wigginton's liner.
``It's the manager's worst nightmare,' Washington skipper Davey Johnson said. ``Very fortunate it didn't do a lot of damage. That ball was smoked. He got his glove up to deflect it off him, so it didn't hit him real bad. I think he's going to be all right. He may not even miss a start with the All-Star break. It's a blessing there. Real dangerous.'
The Nationals, who fell to 5-7 under Johnson, have two more games this weekend until the break. They don't resume play until July 15 in Atlanta.
Lannan trotted off the field with the help of trainer Lee Kuntz, and the pitcher wasn't available to speak with reporters after the game.
``A miracle,' Johnson said. ``I don't know how he missed a broken nose.'
The Nationals had taken a 1-0 lead on Michael Morse's sacrifice fly in the first, and then came the three Rockies runs.
``I don't know that you can square the ball up much harder and hit it back through the middle. Had it hit him flush, that could have been a tough situation for a lot of people on the field, no question about it,' Colorado manager Jim Tracy said.
Hammel (5-8) allowed two runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings as Colorado won for the first time in eight road games. The right-hander was coming off his shortest outing of the season, when he gave up seven runs in 3 2-3 innings in a loss to Kansas City.
Wilson Ramos homered for Washington in the fourth.
``After (Lannan) got hit, I got scared. The ball hit his face,' Ramos said.
The Rockies' bullpen kept the Nationals scoreless after Hammel gave way to Matt Reynolds in the seventh. Matt Belisle came on for the final out of the eighth and Huston Street pitched the ninth for his 25th save in 27 chances.
Lannan retired his first 10 batters - striking out five - but then came the frightening moment.
``It was a well-played ballgame - other than the fact I lost my starting pitcher,' Johnson said.
Jonathan Herrera singled in the fourth, the first Colorado hitter to reach base. Helton and Wigginton followed with consecutive singles off Lannan. Herrera scored on Wigginton's hit.
Lannan was replaced by Ryan Mattheus. After Lannan left, a fielder's choice by Mark Ellis put runners on the corners, and Helton scored on Mattheus' balk. Garner followed with a run-scoring single - his first major league hit - to give Colorado a 3-1 lead.
Washington's first three batters of the game reached to load the bases against Hammel, but the only run of the inning came on Morse's sacrifice fly. Hammel struck out Jayson Werth and got Rick Ankiel to pop out to second base to get out of the jam.
Hammel cruised the rest of the way, except for Ramos' eighth home run of the season in the fourth inning, a deep shot to center field to cut the lead to 3-2.
NOTES: Washington placed C Ivan Rodriguez (right oblique strain) on the 15-day DL before the game and recalled C Jesus Flores from Triple-A Syracuse. Flores struck out in his at-bat ... RHP Cole Kimball, who has been on the disabled list since June 10, will undergo surgery next week in New York to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder. Johnson said he expects the surgery to be season-ending. ... It was the fifth straight Nationals game to be decided by one run.
The Associated Press News Service
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