for this game

Young leads Nationals past Astros

Jul 17, 2007 - 3:22 AM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Dmitri Young has become a legitimate candidate in the race for the National League batting title.

Young's three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning was the decisive hit in the Washington Nationals' 4-3 victory over the Houston Astros on Monday.

The homer was one of two hits for Young, who is batting .339 and tied for the league league in that category with Matt Holliday of the Colorado Rockies. Young was abruptly released by the Detroit Tigers last September, according to former manager Jim Leyland, due to his "performance."

"For him, I'm glad," said Houston manager Phil Garner, who managed Young in Detroit in 2002. "I read just recently that he changed his life around. That's good for him. He didn't have a job. I'd just as soon he hit his home runs against someone else, though."

Young, who has never finished a season with a batting average better than .310, is batting .404 (76-for-188) over his last 50 games.

Washington fell behind 2-1 in the top of the sixth before Young restored the lead in the bottom of the frame.

Ronnie Belliard and Ryan Zimmerman set the table for Young with back-to-back, one-out singles off starter Woody Williams. Batting from the left side, Young crushed a 1-0 offering from Williams over the right field wall for his ninth home run of the season.

"It was a curveball. I looked at it and got good wood on it. We needed those runs - and that was the key," Young said. "I like being up in the clutch."

Zimmerman said Young's experience is invaluable to the team.

"Once you learn how to do it, you can't forget," Zimmerman said.

Carlos Lee's 17th blast of the season off reliever Jon Rauch in the top of the eighth cut the lead to one. However, Chad Cordero preserved the win with a perfect ninth inning for his 16th save of the season.

Williams (4-11) fell to 1-8 in road starts this season, allowing four runs, six hits and no walks while striking out two in six innings.

"That's the story of my season," Williams said. "A three-run home run at a time where I can't really afford to do it."

Early on it appeared that Ryan Church's RBI groundout in the fourth would be all Washington starter Mike Bacsik would need. However, the Astros finally got the better of the lefthander in the sixth.

Hunter Pence reached second on a throwing error by shortstop Felipe Lopez to open the frame and moved to third on a single by Lance Berkman. Lee's RBI single tied the game and Berkman scored from third moments later on Mark Loretta's sacrifice fly, giving the Astros a 2-1 edge.

After Eric Bruntlett's two-out single put runners on the corners, Bacsik was replaced by Saul Rivera who prevented further damage by inducing a groundout from Brad Ausmus.

"The bullpen - once again, it picks us up every time," Bacsik said.

Rivera (4-2) allowed one hit in 1 1/3 scoreless innings to earn the win.

Berkman finished with two hits for the Astros, who have lost four straight and own the majors worst road record at 15-32. Houston has lost seven consecutive road games and 13 of the last 15 contests away from Minute Maid Park.

"The last two games I thought we came up a little short. That's going to happen over the course of the season," Berkman said. "We can't afford for it to happen to us. When you get off to a bad start, it puts you in a big hole."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    HOUSTON 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 3 10 0
    WASHINGTON 0 0 0 1 0 3 0 0 x 4 7 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: HOU - WOODY WILLIAMS, TREVER MILLER (7TH), CHAD QUALLS (7TH), BRAD
    LIDGE (8TH) AND BRAD AUSMUS
    WAS - MIKE BACSIK, SAUL RIVERA (6TH), JON RAUCH (8TH),
    CHAD CORDERO

    Jul 16 9:29 PM
  • 40
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Astros vs. NationalsJul 16 9:25 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - MID INNING UPDATE
    PLAY: M Lamb hit for E Bruntlett.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M LORETTA ON FIRST, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 3
    WASHINGTON 4 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M Lamb (.297, 8 HR, 26 RBI)

    Astros vs. NationalsJul 16 9:23 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY DMITRI YOUNG (9) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 6TH OFF WOODY WILLIAMS SCORED RONNIE BELLIARD AND RYAN
    ZIMMERMAN.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 2, WASHINGTON 4
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R CHURCH (.260, 0-FOR-2, RBI)

    Astros vs. NationalsJul 16 8:39 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY MARK LORETTA SCORED LANCE BERKMAN.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C LEE ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 2
    WASHINGTON 1 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M ENSBERG (.229, 2-FOR-2)

    Astros vs. NationalsJul 16 8:28 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CARLOS LEE SCORED HUNTER PENCE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C LEE ON FIRST, L BERKMAN ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 1
    WASHINGTON 1 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M LORETTA (.313, 0-FOR-2)

    Astros vs. NationalsJul 16 8:28 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY RYAN CHURCH SCORED RYAN ZIMMERMAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R CHURCH ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 0
    WASHINGTON 1 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: A KEARNS (.253, 1-FOR-1)

    Astros vs. NationalsJul 16 8:02 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Hogie Added 5 roots

    Astros vs. NationalsMay 24 6:54 PM