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Washington Nationals drop 6-1 decision to Houston Astros... in what was a tight game most of the night

Edwin Jackson put together another solid start, but Mike Fiers outdueled the Nationals’ right-hander in what ended up a 6-1 win for the Astros.

MLB: Washington Nationals at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into the second game of the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals’ three-game set in Minute Maid Park, the AL West and NL East division leaders were ranked first and second, respectively, in runs scored in the majors, but just like the first game of the series last night, this one was a tightly-contested, low-scoring affair for the most part... though it ended with the home team on top, 6-1.

Edwin Jackson’s defense cost him one of the two runs he allowed when Michael A. Taylor and Andrew Stevenson failed to communicate on a fly to right-center by Jose Altuve in the fourth, with the ball bouncing off Stevenson’s glove as the outfielders just avoided colliding.

Altuve made his way around to third on the misplay and scored on a sac fly, tying the game up at 1-1, and a mistake by E-Jax in the fifth cost the right-hander the other run he gave up on a 1-0 curveball knee-high inside to Jake Marisnick that went out to left, 393 feet from home, for a solo shot that put Houston ahead for good in what ended up a 3-1 win when Max Stassi added a solo shot in the eighth, and Shawn Kelley gave up a three-run blast by Alex Bregman that made it a 6-1 game.

Nationals now 75-49


Andrew Stevenson lined a 1-1 fastball from Astros’ starter Mike Fiers to right field for a one-out double (his first in the majors) in the top of the third inning, and hesitated, but took third on a bloop single to center by Howie Kendrick in the next at bat before scoring on a sac fly to center by Wilmer Difo that got the Nationals on the board, up 1-0 early in the second of three in Houston’s Minute Maid Park.

Stevenson got turned around on a line drive right at him with two out in the Astros’ second, getting a glove on the ball but failing to make the catch. Edwin Jackson was able to work around that hit, but Stevenson and Michael A. Taylor nearly collided in right-center on a hard-hit fly off Jose Altuve’s bat in the fourth, and the ball ended up bouncing off of Stevenson’s glove for a leadoff triple.

Altuve scored on a sac fly to center in the next at bat, tying things up at 1-1.

Jackson threw back-to-back curves to Jake Marisnick in a one-out at bat in the Astros’ fifth, and the second, a 1-0 bender knee-high inside, got hammered for a big solo shot to left-center that put the Astros up 2-1. Marisnick’s 15th.

Josh Reddick doubled to right-center on an 0-1 fastball in the first at bat of the Astros’ sixth, and Jackson walked Carlos Beltran intentionally with two down to get to catcher Max Stassi, who took an unintentional walk to load the bases, but E-Jax popped Jake Marisnick up to end the threat with his 95th pitch of the game.

• Edwin Jackson’s Line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 95 P, 58 S, 5/6 GO/FO.

Matt Albers took over for the Nationals in the Astros’ seventh and retired the first two batters he faced, but Dusty Baker went to the pen for lefty Matt Grace vs Josh Reddick after Albers walked Jose Altuve with two down. Reddick singled to center, allowing Altuve to take third when Michael A. Taylor bobbled the ball, but both of the runners were stranded on a force at second in the next at bat.

• Mike Fiers’ Line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 Ks, 90 P, 61 S, 6/5 GO/FO.

Astros’ righty Joe Musgrove worked around a two-out double by Howie Kendrick in the eighth, but a swinging K from Wilmer Difo ended the threat.

Dusty Baker left Matt Grace in to face righty Max Stassi with two down in the eighth after Grace got two switch-hitters (Marwin Gonzalez and Carlos Beltran) out, and Stassi crushed a 1-0 sinker, hitting a solo home run onto the tracks in left, 3-1.

Shawn Kelley came on to finish up the eighth, but gave up a single, walk, and three-run home run, with Alex Bregman’s blast putting the Astros up, 6-1.

Francisco Liriano came on for the Astros in the ninth and worked around a leadoff single for a scoreless frame. Final Score: 6-1 Astros.


  • With last night’s win, Washington has now won nine straight over Houston (going back to 2012), and 13 of their last 14 with the Astros, giving the Nationals a 35-26 record in the all-time series between the two teams.
  • Washington’s win last night gave them a 75-48 record on the season, good for the second-best record in the majors, behind only the LA Dodgers and ahead of Houston (76-49).
  • Washington’s 40-23 road record heading into tonight’s game was the third-best in the majors and second-best in the National League.
  • After last night’s game, Howie Kendrick is now 22 for 65 (.338 AVG) since joining the Nationals on July 28th, with four doubles, a triple, five homers, four walks and 10 runs scored since joining the Nationals.
  • Washington’s starters, as a group, began the night leading the National League in opponents’ batting average (.229), Ks (772), and ranked second in opponents’ OBP (.297), second in opponents’ SLG (.382), and second in ERA (3.53).
  • Washington’s pitchers, as a group, starters and relievers have allowed just eight home runs in the last 12 games, the fewest home runs allowed in the majors over that stretch.
  • The Nationals’ offense started the night leading the NL in runs scored (651), SLG (.463), and OPS (.799), and ranked second in AVG (.271), and extra-base hits (442).

Nationals now 75-49