Astros edge NationalsJul 20, 2011 - 5:02 AM Houston, TX (Sports Network) - It took two months, but J.A. Happ finally earned his fourth victory of the season.
Happ (4-11) allowed seven hits and five runs, but Houston's offense bailed out the left-hander in a 7-6 win over the Washington Nationals. Happ, who had been 0-7 over his previous 10 starts, posted his first triumph since May 14 against the New York Mets.
"I know he had a couple of home runs, but it was sure nice to see him come through and not be afraid to pitch to contact," Houston manager Brad Mills said. "Our bullpen came in and did a lot of real good things for us."
Michael Bourn went 3-for-5 with three RBI, and his two-run double capped a four-run fourth inning. Clint Barmes smacked a two-run homer and also drove in three runs for the Astros, winners in just two of their last nine games.
Michael Morse and Jerry Hairston Jr. each had three hits and hit two-run homers for the Nationals, who took the opener of this three-game series, 5-2, on Monday behind Ryan Zimmerman's go-ahead RBI single in the ninth inning.
Zimmerman nearly tied the game in the final inning on Tuesday. He yanked a 1-2 pitch from Mark Melancon to the right-field corner. The home run distance hit was within inches of hitting the foul pole. Zimmerman then grounded out to second base for the second out. Morse was hit by a pitch and was replaced by pinch-runner Rick Ankiel. Jayson Werth walked on a full count high pitch, but Wilson Ramos then struck out to end the game, securing Melancon's eighth save of the year.
Jordan Zimmermann (6-8) surrendered seven hits and six runs over five innings, as the Nationals saw their four-game winning streak against the Astros broken.
Washington wasted a bases-loaded chance in the opening inning, and the Astros went ahead in the second on Barmes' shot to left field.
Morse tied it the following inning with his 17th round-tripper of the year, but Houston went ahead for good in the fourth. Barmes and Humberto Quintero hit back-to-back RBI singles. Happ put down a successful sacrifice bunt, leading to Bourn's two-run double to left field for a 6-2 cushion.
Hairston homered in the sixth, and the Nationals capitalized with a runner in scoring position later in the frame when Ian Desmond singled to center off reliever Fernando Rodriguez.
"We battled hard," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "I was proud of the team. We got right back in the ball game."
Bourn was at it again in the sixth when he singled to left field to drive in Quintero, but Ramos' double-play grounder plated Morse in the seventh.
The Nationals ran themselves out of an opportunity in the eighth. Hairston led off with a single off the wall in left field, but was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double.
Prior to the game, the Astros acquired pitchers Henry Sosa and Jason Stoffel from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for infielder Jeff Keppinger. The Astros also purchased the contract of infielder Jose Altuve from Double-A Corpus Christi...Bourn has reached base safely in 10 of his last 11 games...The Nationals reinstated pitcher Chad Gaudin from the 15-day disabled list and designated him for assignment.
- WASHINGTON: 6
Jul 19 11:17 PM
- Roger Bernadina grounded out second to first to end the inning.
Nationals 6, Astros 7 Mid 7Jul 19 10:29 PM
- Michael Bourn single to left scored Humberto Quintero with two outs. On the play, Brian Bogusevic advances to second. Runners on first and second and Angel Sanchez due up.
Nationals 5, Astros 7 Bot 6, 2 OutsJul 19 10:15 PM
- Ryan Zimmerman struck out looking to end the inning.
Nationals 5, Astros 6 Mid 6Jul 19 10:03 PM
- Jerry Hairston Jr. one-out, two-run Home Run (3) to left scored Wilson Ramos. Jordan Zimmermann due up.
Nationals 4, Astros 6 Top 6, 1 OutJul 19 9:49 PM
- Michael Bourn double to left scored Clint Barmes and Humberto Quintero with two outs. Runner on second and Angel Sanchez due up.
Nationals 2, Astros 6 Bot 4, 2 OutsJul 19 9:25 PM
- J.A. Happ sacrifice bunt to pitcher. On the play, Humberto Quintero advances to second and Clint Barmes advances to third. Runners on second and third and with two outs and Michael Bourn due up.
Nationals 2, Astros 4 Bot 4, 2 OutsJul 19 9:24 PM
- Jayson Werth struck out swinging. None on with two outs and Wilson Ramos due up.
Nationals 2, Astros 2 Top 3, 2 OutsJul 19 8:53 PM
- Clint Barmes two-out, two-run Home Run (5) to left scored Carlos Lee. Humberto Quintero due up.
Nationals 0, Astros 2 Bot 2, 2 OutsJul 19 8:42 PM
- WASHINGTON: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Jul 19 8:06 PM
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