for this game

Lannon, Nationals end Astros' winning streak

May 9, 2008 - 4:20 AM By Ted Dunnam PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- John Lannon pitched six effective innings Thursday as the Washington Nationals snapped the Houston Astros' five-game winning streak with a 8-3 victory.

Willie Harris and Rob Mackowiak blasted their first home runs of the campaign and Austin Kearns drove in two runs for the Nationals, who avoided getting swept of a series for the fourth time this season.

"We need everybody to chip in, and that's what happened today," Washington manager Manny Acta said. "That's what we envisioned with Harris and Mackowiak, and they came through for us."

Despite the loss, Astros slugger Lance Berkman continued his hot hitting. The switch-hitting first baseman, who collected two hits in this one, is now 15-for-20 with seven RBI over his last five games.

Lannon (3-3) yielded just one run and seven hits with a walk and three strikeouts en route to his third win in four starts.

"You can't nibble at them," Lannon said. "You try to attack as much as possible and keep the ball low. Lance is on right now. You just try to mix it up and keep them off-balance."

"He didn't have his best command, but he did battle hard," Acta said of Lannon. "He gave us what we needed. Some guys go berserk when they get in trouble, especially young guys, but he battled through the first two innings and his command improved a little bit."

Houston manager Cecil Cooper also was impressed with Lannon's performance.

"I'm a little disappointed, but I give the guy on the other side a lot of credit," Cooper said. "He had command of his fastball and threw it down in the strike zone. It got him a lot of ground balls."

The Nationals led, 2-1, entering the sixth when they created some breathing room. They loaded the bases against Houston starter Brandon Backe (2-4) on singles by Cristian Guzman and Ryan Zimmerman and a walk to Nick Johnson.

Kearns, who entered the game with a .364 average this month, then lined a two-run single to center to extend the lead to 4-1. The Nationals widened the bulge with a three-run eighth, which was highlighted by Mackowiak's two-run blast to left field.

"It's nice to get some at-bats," Mackowiak said. "After today, I feel a lot better about myself. You just have to relax and put a good swing on the bat, and that's what I did."

The Nationals opened the scoring in the first on Johnson's RBI double to right-center field. Harris added a solo shot in the second for a 2-0 cushion.

"We (reserves) want to make the most of our opportunities," Harris said. "We don't play every day and we got to give the regulars a breather. The way we swung the bats tonight was great."

Houston halved the deficit when Miguel Tejada scored on Hunter Pence's infield single. The Astros added two runs in the eighth to pull within 7-3 on a run-scoring single by Carlos Lee and an RBI groundout by Ty Wigginton.

Backe struck out a career-high nine batters for Houston, which had an eight-game home winning streak snapped. The righthander gave up four runs, six hits and three walks in six frames.

"Getting on base tired me out a little in the fifth inning, but that's no excuse," Backe said. "I didn't think I pitched too bad. I just made a couple of mistakes and they capitalized."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    WASHINGTON 1 0 1 0 0 2 0 3 1 8 12 0
    HOUSTON 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 3 10 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: WAS - JOHN LANNAN, SAUL RIVERA (7TH), LUIS AYALA (8TH), JON RAUCH
    (9TH) AND WIL NIEVES
    HOU - BRANDON BACKE, TIM BYRDAK (7TH), OSCAR VILLARREAL
    (8TH), WESLEY WRIGHT

    May 8 11:06 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    NICK JOHNSON HIT INTO DOUBLE PLAY SCORING CRISTIAN GUZMAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 8
    HOUSTON 3 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: A KEARNS (.218, 1-FOR-3, BB, 2 RBI)

    Nationals 8, Astros 3  Top 9, 0 OutsMay 8 11:01 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY TY WIGGINTON SCORED LANCE BERKMAN.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, T WIGGINTON ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 7
    HOUSTON 3 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: J TOWLES (.164, 0-FOR-3)

    Nationals 7, Astros 3  Bot 8, 0 OutsMay 8 10:50 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CARLOS LEE SCORED MIGUEL TEJADA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C LEE ON FIRST, L BERKMAN ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 7
    HOUSTON 2 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: H PENCE (.258, 1-FOR-3, RBI)

    Nationals 7, Astros 2  Bot 8, 0 OutsMay 8 10:45 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY ROB MACKOWIAK (1) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF OSCAR VILLARREAL SCORED AUSTIN KEARNS.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 7, HOUSTON 1
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: W NIEVES (.333, 0-FOR-3)

    Nationals 7, Astros 1  Top 8, 0 OutsMay 8 10:34 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    WILD PITCH BY OSCAR VILLARREAL ALLOWED RYAN ZIMMERMAN TO
    SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A KEARNS ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 5
    HOUSTON 1 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R BELLIARD (.200, 0-FOR-3)

    Nationals 5, Astros 1  Top 8, 0 OutsMay 8 10:21 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY AUSTIN KEARNS SCORED CRISTIAN GUZMAN AND RYAN
    ZIMMERMAN.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A KEARNS ON FIRST, N JOHNSON ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 4
    HOUSTON 1 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R BELLIARD (.203, 0-FOR-2)

    Nationals 4, Astros 1  Top 6, 0 OutsMay 8 9:43 PM
  • 5
    roots
    DDrake Added 5 roots

    Nationals 2, Astros 1  Top 6, 0 OutsMay 8 9:38 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY HUNTER PENCE SCORED MIGUEL TEJADA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, H PENCE ON FIRST, L BERKMAN ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 2
    HOUSTON 1 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: T WIGGINTON (.256, 1-FOR-1)

    Nationals 2, Astros 1  Bot 4, 0 OutsMay 8 9:13 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY WILLIE HARRIS (1) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF BRANDON BACKE.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 2, HOUSTON 0
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: C GUZMAN (.301, 0-FOR-1)

    Nationals 2, Astros 0  Top 3, 0 OutsMay 8 8:45 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: WAS - JOHN LANNAN
    HOU - BRANDON BACKE

    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M BOURN (.195, 3 HR, 5 RBI)
    K MATSUI (.275, 1 HR, 10 RBI)
    M TEJADA (.331, 5 HR, 25 RBI)

    Nationals 1, Astros 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsMay 8 8:13 PM