Washington survives Houston rally in 6-5 win
- Article by: HARVEY VALENTINE
- Associated Press
- June 17, 2014 - 10:05 PM
WASHINGTON — Anthony Rendon doubled twice and drove in three runs, and the Washington Nationals opened a six-game homestand with a 6-5 victory over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.
Ryan Zimmerman added two doubles and two RBIs as Washington snapped a four-game losing streak.
Tanner Roark (6-4) pitched five innings in winning his third straight start. Rafael Soriano worked the ninth for his 14th save.
Houston's Jose Altuve returned to the lineup, going 4 for 5 with two doubles and two RBIs. He was limited to one pinch-hitting appearance in the last three games after being hit on the right hand by a pitch.
Houston trailed 6-1 before scoring four in the eighth off Tyler Clippard, the last two on a double by Altuve, who is hitting .370 (17 for 46) in June.
Dallas Keuchel (8-4) came in 6-1 with a 1.33 ERA over his last seven starts, but struggled with his command.
He allowed four earned runs on six hits and a season-high four walks, while striking out four in five innings. It was the shortest outing since April 5 for Keuchel, who tied his season high in runs allowed while picking up his first road loss.
Houston has lost three of four overall and 11 of its last 12 against Washington.
Keuchel was lifted after throwing 105 pitches. Roark tossed 95 on a night when the game-time temperature was 92 degrees.
Roark gave up seven hits and walked two, but minimized the damage when the Astros loaded the bases on three singles leading off the fourth.
After Roark fanned Jason Castro, Matt Dominguez hit a grounder that deflected off Roark's foot into right field, scoring Altuve to pull Houston within 4-1. Roark rebounded to get Jonathan Villar on a fly to shallow left before striking out Robbie Grossman.
Washington, which managed just four runs in its four straight losses, scored four in three innings against one of the league's hottest pitchers.
Denard Span broke a 0 for 18 skid when he opened the first with an infield hit on a bouncer off the plate. He scored on Rendon's double to the wall in right center. With one out, Zimmerman doubled to drive in Rendon and make it 2-0.
The Nationals doubled their lead in the third.
With two outs, Zimmerman doubled home Jayson Werth, who had walked. Zimmerman scored on a single by Ian Desmond.
Rendon made it 6-1 when he doubled in two runs off reliever Kyle Farnsworth in the sixth.
NOTES: Washington OF Bryce Harper took two-handed swings Tuesday for the first time since injuring his left thumb April 25. Manager Matt Williams said Harper hit soft toss pitching in the indoor batting cage Tuesday and the goal is to evaluate him on the field this week. Williams pointed to "beyond July 1" for Harper's return. . Houston manager Bo Porter coached third base for the Nationals from 2011-12. Tuesday was his first visit since Washington dropped the decisive Game 5 of the 2012 NL Division Series to St. Louis after leading 6-0. "It hurt," he said of that loss. "I would say it still hurts." . Nationals LHP Gio Gonzalez (3-4, 4.62) returns Wednesday from the 15-day DL (shoulder inflammation) and opposes RHP Scott Feldman (3-4, 3.98).
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