It seems that every time a Rockies rookie starter (or two) begins to struggle, another steps up in his place. After a trio of shaky outings in St. Louis by his fellow rookies, German Marquez took his fourth consecutive start into the seventh inning and earned the Rockies a much-needed road win. Colorado defeated Washington 4-2 on Saturday in the first of a three-game series with the Nationals.

Marquez (9-4, 4.08 ERA) flirted with perfection, retiring 16 consecutive batters to open the game before Matt Wieters lined an opposite-field single to left to break up the perfect game after 5.1 innings. Washington strung together another couple hits in the inning to put up two markers on Marquez. The rookie righty responded with authority in the seventh, however, retiring Ryan Zimmerman, Daniel Murphy and Anthony Rendon in order to end his night. Marquez struck out 10 Nationals, a new career high, including Bryce Harper twice.

Newly acquired two-time All-Star Pat Neshek made his Rockies debut, pitching a 1-2-3 eighth inning. Neshek was the beneficiary of some excellent scouting and defensive positioning by the coaching staff, as well as a pair of slick plays by Trevor Story and Nolan Arenado.

MLB saves leader Greg Holland added to his total with No. 32, retiring the Nationals in order and getting Harper to fly out to end the game.

Colorado put up a pair of two-run innings, the second and fifth, against Tanner Roark (8-7, 4.93). Trevor Story hit a two-run home run with no outs in the second after Carlos Gonzalez took a walk. The home run was Story’s 15th of the year and fourth since July 19. In the fifth, Gerardo Parra doubled to left field to score DJ LeMahieu, also on base after taking a walk. Mark Reynolds followed Parra’s RBI double with one of his own. Parra is 26-for-53 since returning from the disabled list on July 7 (the best average in baseball over that time) and has hit safely in 13 of 14 games in that time.

The win was only Colorado’s fourth road win in their last 20 games away from Coors Field, but keeps them above .500 on the road for the year (28-26). At 59-45, the Rockies remain in the second spot in the NL Wild Card race behind Arizona. Colorado and Washington will square off for a pair of games on Sunday after Friday’s rainout. Kyle Freeland will start the early game; Jon Gray is tabbed to start the finale. Colorado will not have to face either Max Scherzer or Gio Gonzalez in the series.