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Houston Astros 3, Washington Nationals 2: Jayson Werth's Offensive Explosion Not Enough For Nats.

• Day Game In Houston: 

5. El Caballo Taketh And Giveth: Roger "The Shark" Bernadina takes the first four pitches Astros' starter Brett Myers throws in the series finale between Houston and Washington, and all of them miss. Four-pitch walk for Bernadina and then stolen base no. 16 in 18 attempts this season by the Nats' leadoff man. Danny Espinosa's infield pops fails to advance Bernadina, but Ryan Zimmerman's groundout does. Two outs, runner on third and Michael Morse crushes a 1-0 fastbal from Myers, right to El Caballo, Carlos Lee in left. No BABIP love for Morse there...Mr. National Himself Livan Hernandez gets the first two outs of the Astros' first on four pitches, but an 0-1 slider to Hunter Pence is smoked and it takes an odd hop off the left field scoreboard, evading Berndina and giving Houston's right fielder a stand-up triple. Carlos Lee was just standing there when he got the Astros out of trouble in the top of the frame but he actively helps them to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the inning with a two-out single to center on a 2-1 slider from Livan Hernandez...

4. Not the Astros: The Astros haven't won a series since June 17-19th when they took two of three on the road from the Dodgers. Houston's lost 18 of 22 games since that series win and they've gone from 27-47 to 31-64 over that stretch before splitting the first two games of this series with Washington, giving themselves a chance to break the series-losing streak. The Astros have a 2-0 lead over the Nationals after three. Clint Barmes continues to kill the Nats, and the Houston shortstop is 3 for 5 with three runs scored in the last two games after he singles to right and scores from first on an RBI double by Humberto Quintero, 2-0 Astros after two innings. 

3.6/28-7/20: Jayson Werth doubles with one down in the Nats' fourth, Werth's 17th two-bagger of the year and first double since June 28th in Anaheim. Werth's stranded two outs later when Rick Ankiel flies to left and Jesus Flores grounds out to second. The Nats are 0 for 6 with RISP through four innings against Brett Myers. Livan Hernandez goes all DIY with a one-out single in the fifth for the Nats' fifth hit of the game, but he's forced out at second on a Bernadina groundout and after Danny Espinosa K's swinging the Nats trail 2-0 with Houston headed in to hit in the fifth.

2. Livan Holds'Em Back: After giving up two runs, one each (on four hits) in each of the first two innings, in which Livan Hernandez throws 30 pitches. Hernandez throws 30 more through two scoreless, allowing only a one-out walk to Hunter Pence in the third, and a leadoff single by Chris Johnson in the fourth, but nothing else. Still 2-0 Houston in the fifth, however, when oft-mentioned Nats' trade-target Michael Bourn bunts his way on. Bourn tags and advances to second on a deep fly to center by debuting Astros' infield Jose Altuve, but Bourn's stranded two outs later when El Caballo lines out to short. 2-0 Houston after five.  

1. 105 AB's?: One on, one out in the Nats' fifth. First-pitch fastball from Myers to Werth. CRUSHED!! Jayson Werth collected his first double since June 28th in the fourth, and he collects his first HR since he hit home runs in back-to-back games against the Cardinals on June 15th and 16th. The two-run blast after an infield single by Michael Morse ties it at 2-2. 105 at bats pass between HR's for Werth, who's 2 for 3 with a double today. 2-2 game in the 6th inning. Werth has his first double since 6/28 in Anaheim, first HR since 6/16 in D.C. and first game with two extra base hits since he homered twice in the Nats' 17-5 win over Baltimore on May 20th. 

0. Lightning In Houston: Livan Hernandez is hit for in the top of the seventh, but his pinch hitter, Matt Stairs, stares at a called strike three and the Nationals go down in order in what ends up being Brett Myers' last inning of work as well. Livan throws 86 pitches, 58 for strikes, allowing seven hits and two runs, both earned in 6.0 IP in which he walks one and strikes out two. Myers finishes his day with 100 pitches, 62 of them strikes over 6.0 IP in which he gives up eight hits and two earned runs. Henry Rodriguez takes over for Livan in the seventh, throwing a quick 11-pitch 1-2-3 frame, and Astros' right-hander Enerio Del Rosario follows with an 11-pitch frame of his own. Still 2-2 after seven. 

-1. Moar Lightning?: Henry Rodriguez starts his second inning of relief work by walking Hunter Pence when the flamethrowing Nats' right-hander misses with a 99 mph full-count fastball. Pence takes second on a wild pitch and Rodriguez walks El Caballo Carlos Lee when he bounces another full-count heater. Tyler Clippard gives up a sac bunt by Brett Wallace after he replaces Rodriguez, and an intentional walk to Chris Johnson. Bases loaded, one down. Clint Barmes pops out to the infield. Clippard gets up on Humberto Quintero and throws 1-2 93 mph heater by the Astros' catcher to leave the bases loaded. All-Star. Still 2-2 after eight. 

-2. 0 for 9 w/ RISP: Tyler Clippard strikes out the first two batters he faces in the Astros' ninth, but then rookie Astros' infielder Jose Altuve slows things down with a two-out single to right, his first in the Majors. Congrats. Clippard issues his first walk of the day when he puts Hunter Pence on, but a fly to center off Carlos Lee's bat sends this one to extras. No score in the 10th, Wilton Lopez and Ryan Mattheus with scoreless frames. The Astros' right-hander gives up a long fly ball to center by Jayson Werth in the 11th. Werth collects his second double of the game, but he's stranded two outs later. A fly ball to right falls in front of Werth in the Astros' 11th, and Humberto Quintero's on with a leadoff single. A sac bunt brings Michael Bourn up with a runner on second and one out. Bourn singles to center, but Quintero stops at third with Bernadina charging. First and third. Jason Michaels singles to center. Ballgame. 3-2 final.

• Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Were Watching...

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1 dc Roach - 211
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6 d_c_guy - 53
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10 cat daddy3000 - 32


• Doghouse's Post Game WPA Graph: COMING SOON.

Nationals now 48-50.