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Michaels lifts Astros over Nationals in extras

Jul 21, 2011 - 12:10 AM Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Jason Michaels singled in the 11th to score Humberto Quintero as Houston took down Washington, 3-2, in the rubber match of a three-game set.

Quintero singled to right to open the inning, then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Angel Sanchez. Michael Bourn followed with a base hit to center that moved Quintero to third before Michaels singled to end the game.

Clint Barmes tallied two hits and a run scored while Carlos Lee and Quintero each added an RBI for the Astros, who won their first series since they took two of three from the Dodgers on June 17-19.

Wilton Lopez (2-4) earned the win after tossing two scoreless frames.

Jayson Werth went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and a two-run homer that followed a Michael Morse single. The Nationals, though, have lost seven of their last 10 tilts.

Todd Coffey (3-1) was tagged with the loss after giving up three hits in the 11th, including the game-winner.

The Nationals threatened to plate the go-ahead run in the 11th following a Werth double off the hill in center with one. But Lopez slammed the door shut, retiring pinch-hitter Ian Desmond and Jesus Flores to end the inning.

"I think the bullpen did a heck of a job being able to hold them for four innings, thats big," said Brett Myers, who started and pitched seven innings. "That is what we were missing earlier this season. I know they have been on track the last couple of weeks or so, so hopefully they keep that up."

Coffey then entered the game and recorded just one out before the Astros managed to score the winning run.

Werth tied the game with one swing in the sixth. After Morse reached on a infield single, Werth belted a first-pitch sinker deep into the left-field stands.

Washington also dodged a bullet in the eighth inning as Hunter Pence and Lee began the inning with walks before Tyler Clippard was called out of the Washington bullpen. Brett Wallace moved the runners up with a sacrifice bunt and Clippard intentionally walked Chris Johnson to load the bases. The All- Star reliever then retired the following two hitters, Barmes and Quintero, to escape the jam unscathed.

The Astros struck first, taking a 1-0 lead after one inning. Pence hit a two- out triple, then scored three pitches later when Lee hit a line-drive single to center.

Houston added another run in the second after Barmes singled to right with one out right before Quintero knocked him in with a double down the left-field line.

Nationals starter Livan Hernandez, who pitched six innings, says they would have liked to play a little better this series.

"We took the first game and the next two we lost 7-6 yesterday and 3-2 today. It was tough," he said.

Game Notes

The Astros dropped a series for the 25th time this season...Houston's Jose Altuve made his major league debut and recorded his first hit in the ninth inning...Werth hit his first home run since June 16 against St. Louis...Washington fell to 15-12 against the National League Central.