WASHINGTON - Colorado Rockies manager Walt Weiss called Michael Cuddyer "one of the better kept secrets in the game." That perception might change soon.
Cuddyer homered in his first at-bat to extend the major league's longest hitting streak this season to 21 games - and the Rockies hung on to beat Washington 7-6 Sunday.
He went 3 for 4 with four RBIs to break a tie with St. Louis' David Freese for the year's top streak, and the Rockies right fielder is now just two games shy of matching the franchise's best run. Dante Bichette, now the team's hitting coach, had hits in 23 consecutive games in 1995.
Cuddyer also extended his Colorado record for consecutive games reaching base to 40.
"After 12 years of being in the big leagues, you don't like to think of yourself as a secret," Cuddyer said with a laugh.
Not that he would mind staying under the radar, either.
"He doesn't care about that stuff," Weiss said. "He likes to show up, compete and work on his beard. That's all that matters to Cuddy."
With his wife and son in attendance, Cuddyer, a Virginia native, had an RBI single in Colorado's three-run third inning and a two-run single in a three-run fourth.
That gave Jorge De La Rosa (8-4) a 7-0 cushion. He allowed seven hits in six innings.
Washington right fielder Jayson Werth started after missing Saturday's game with flu-like symptoms, but he left Sunday in the fourth inning following his second hit after stretching his groin. Colorado left fielder Carlos Gonzalez left the game in the middle of the eighth inning with a leg cramp.
Washington's Ryan Zimmerman had an RBI infield single in the bottom of the eighth, and a second run scored on the play when Rockies shortstop Josh Rutledge booted the ball. Jhonatan Solano pinch hit and lined a two-out, two-run double to center field.
But Colorado's Rex Brothers struck out Ian Desmond and threw a perfect ninth, ensuring the Nationals' four-run eighth left them still a run short.