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(Monday, August 6th)
Final Score: Washington 5, Houston 4 (11 innings)
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Roger Bernadina scored the winner in the 11th as the Washington Nationals took a 5-4 win over the Houston Astros in the opener of a four-game series.
Washington had blown the lead in the ninth, but went ahead in the 11th thanks to a pair of errors. Bernadina led off with a single and Kurt Suzuki followed with a bunt. Wilton Lopez (3-1) and first baseman Steve Pearce collided as both went for the ball. Pearce then gathered the ball and his rushed throw to first sailed wide. Bernadina was waived home and easily scored when Brian Bogusevic's throw went well wide and high.
"An ugly win is better than a good loss," said Nationals starter Edwin Jackson.
Craig Stammen (5-1) set the Astros down in order in the 10th and worked around a two-out walk in the 11th to earn the win.
Ryan Zimmerman hit a two-run single, Michael Morse added two hits and an RBI and Adam LaRoche drove in the other run for the Nationals, who have won three straight and five of six.
Marwin Gonzalez hit a solo homer while Jose Altuve, Brett Wallace and Steve Pearce each drove in a run for the Astros, who have lost six of their last seven.
Jackson gave up two runs on two hits with a pair of walks and eight strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings. Houston starter Dallas Keuchel was charged with four runs -- three earned -- on 12 hits with a walk and two strikeouts over six frames.
Houston got on the board in the first when Gonzalez homered with one out, a shot to right for his second of the year.
The Nationals, though, tied the game in the fourth on three straight singles with LaRoche bringing in Zimmerman with a hit to right.
Washington then went ahead for good in the fifth. Jackson singled to start the inning, Danny Espinosa followed with a basehit and Bryce Harper walked to load the bases. Zimmerman then his a single to right that scored two, but was caught at second trying to stretch it into a double. Morse then singled to center for a 4-1 lead.
Houston was set down in order in the fourth and fifth, but got back in the game in the sixth. Altuve walked to start the frame, stole second and moved to third on a Gonzalez groundout.
That prompted a pitching change as Tom Gorzelanny took the mound and promptly served up a sac fly from Wallace. Justin Maxwell then tripled and a pinch-hit single from Pearce made it a one-run game.
Tyler Clippard tried to close out the game, but blew the save. After getting the first out, he hit Carlos Corporan with a pitch and walked Brian Bogusevic. Altuve then roped a double to left to tie the game. Clippard then struck out the next two batters to send the game to extras.
"One big hit away from ending it in the ninth," said Wallace. "Tonight, we just didn't make enough plays at the end."
Morse extended his career-high hitting streak to 15 games. He is 21-for-63 during the run...Houston left nine men on base while Washington stranded eight...The Nationals took three of four from Houston in Washington in mid- April.
08/07 02:14:15 ET
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