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Washington Nationals Commit 3 Errors In 7-Run 5th, Lose 8-2 To Houston Astros.

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Tonight's Top 5: 

5. Noticeable Absence: It's impossible not to notice that Nationals Park is empty for the first game of four the (72-77) Houston Astros will be playing in the nation's capital this week against the (62-87) Washington Nationals. An ill-advised pan shot, the same one which begins every broadcast of the Nats on MASN, reveals the true size of the crowd in attendance. Not NatsTown's best angle. The crack of the bat echoes through the stadium mics when Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn hit back-to-back one-out liners to right in the first, with Zim's a single after an Adam Kennedy walk and Dunn's a double that scores the Nats' first two runs, 2-0 Washington on Dunn's 36th two-bagger. 

4. 6-In-A-Row-Then...: Livan Hernandez retires the first six Astros he faces then the Nats' slugging pitcher singles with one out in the Nats' second before being stranded two outs later. In the third, the Astros start with a leadoff double by third, into left, and down the line by Brian Bogusevic, who moves to third on a Humberto Quintero single and scores on a safety bunt by 'Stros' starter Bud Norris. 2-1 Nats. Livan gets the final two outs of the inning without another run scoring. 

3. E: 118, 119, 120...

Astros' third baseman Chris Johnson doubles off the out-of-town scoreboard in right-center to start the Astros' fifth. Livan gets a grounder to first from Brian Bogusevic, but Adam Dunn thinks too long about throwing to third and Livan Hernandez must think he's going to throw so he doesn't run to first right away and gets there late, missing Dunn's toss. The ball rolls by first away from Livan while Johnson scores from third. E:118 on Dunn's toss. 2-2 game. 4-2 Houston, Humberto Quintero hits a two-run blast to left on a hanging curve from Livan. Houston pitcher Bud Norris lines to left and it bounces off Willie Harris' glove. Totally catchable. E: 119. And make that E: 120, Jeff Keppinger singles to center to score Norris when Bernadina charges but comes up empty cause he's looking to throw home before he has it. 5-2 Astros. Embarrassing. Two on for Blum after a Carlos Lee single, and Livan leaves a fastball aimed inside out over the plate and surrenders a three-run blast to Blum, 8-2 Astros...

2. Just When You Start To Wonder Why You're Watching: Danny Espinosa starts at short and sprints out to center to make a sliding over-the-shoulder catch on a blooper by Humberto Quintero on one of the better catches you'll see made on the field of play. Nats' right-hander Craig Stammen gets a grounder to third from the opposing pitcher Bud Norris, and it's sharp, but so's Zim. Backhand stab and an OVERHAND throw from his heels from the Nats' Gold Glove third baseman. In time. There are reasons to keep watching...

1. 10,999. Smallest crowd since baseball returned to DC in '05: 10,999 in #Nats Park smallest home crowd in franchise history since 5,416 at Expos and Fish in Stade Olympique 9/28/04. Nats lose 8-2. Luckily not many fans had to watch this one. Livan's Line: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 5 K's, 73 pitches, 50 strikes, 4 groundouts, 6 flyouts. Danny Espinosa's 0 for 5 with 3 K's. Bernadina, Morse and Harris a combined 0 for 10 with 5 LOB, 3 by Harris. 3 E's...3 E's....Loss 88 of 150.

• Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Were Sorta Watching...Though Not In Nats Park...

• Final Score: Astros 8, Nats 2.

Nationals now 62-88.