WASHINGTON (AP) – John Patterson didn’t need much offense to work with, making due with what the Washington Nationals’ revamped lineup provided.

Patterson allowed just three hits in eight scoreless innings, and fill-in shortstop Jamey Carroll delivered two hits and an RBI to lead Washington past the Colorado Rockies 4-0 Tuesday night, just the fourth victory in 13 games for the NL East leader.

His red cap soaked with sweat on a muggy night when the temperature was 86 at the start, Patterson looked very much like what Nationals general manager Jim Bowden called him Monday: a No. 1 pitcher.

Patterson (4-2) started 21 of 29 batters with strikes and had stretches where he retired 10 straight and nine straight. He left to a standing ovation after giving up a leadoff single in the ninth on his 108th pitch. Mike Stanton gave up a single to his only batter, and Chad Cordero finished for his major league-high 33rd save.

Patterson only got into trouble once. That was in the fifth inning, when both of his walks came. The second was given to opposing starter Shawn Chacon (1-6), and it loaded the bases with two outs. But Patterson got Cory Sullivan swinging on a 91 mph fastball, one of his eight strikeouts.

Chacon gave up two runs and seven hits in seven innings with five strikeouts and two walks.

A day after a 5-4 loss to the Rockies, the team with NL’s poorest record, Nationals manager Frank Robinson shook up his lineup, sitting slumping shortstop Cristian Guzman and hobbled third baseman Vinny Castilla.

In addition, only two position players were in spots in the batting order they already had occupied this season.

The results were modest. The Nationals scored twice off Chacon in the second and twice off former teammate Zach Day in the eighth. Washington has scored more than four runs only twice in its last 13 games.

Carroll, starting for Guzman, went 2-for-4 and played flawlessly in the field. Carlos Baerga took over at third for Castilla, who has left knee tendinitis, and had a single.

In the second, Preston Wilson walked – his fourth straight free pass over two nights against his former team – and Ryan Church drove him home with a double. Two outs later, Carroll delivered a single to center that scored Church to make it 2-0.

In the eighth, Day faced four batters and didn’t get an out, with Brian Schneider and Wilson getting RBI singles. There could have been more, but pinch-runner Guzman was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.

Patterson hadn’t won since June 10 despite pitching well. His previous five starts were all no-decisions, even though Patterson’s ERA was 2.97 in that span. He lowered his season ERA to 2.69, and he’s now gone at least five innings in 16 of his 17 starts.

Notes: Nationals 1B Brad Wilkerson leaned over a railing in foul territory to make a nice grab of a popup in the second inning and made a diving catch of a fair pop in the eighth. … Nationals C Schneider was hit twice by pitches from Chacon, in the third and sixth innings. … Rockies OF Matt Holliday was activated from the 15-day DL, started in left field and batted sixth. He went 0-for-4. … Rockies 2B Aaron Miles’ single in the ninth extended his hitting streak to a career-best 14 games.

AP-ES-07-19-05 2140EDT

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