HOUSTON - JUNE 01: Cristian Guzman #15 of the Washington Nationals grimmaces after striking out to end the eighth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on June 1, 2010 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Nationals Lose 6-4 In Bottom Of The 9th To Finish the Astros' Series

Lance Berkman reached on a two-base error by Cristian Guzman in the bottom of the ninth that allowed the tying run to score. Carlos Lee then hit a game-winning two-run homer as the Houston Astros scored three times in the frame to come back and win the series 3-1.

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Nationals Lose In Bottom Of The Ninth

Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Carlos Lee hit a game-winning two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth, as the Houston Astros scored three times in the frame to come back and shock the Washington Nationals, 6-4, in the finale of a four- game set at Minute Maid Park.

Lance Berkman finished 2-for-5 with solo homer and reached on a two-base error by right fielder Cristian Guzman that allowed the tying run to score in the home ninth. The Astros, who dropped the opener of the set, took the last three and have won four of five overall. Lee drove in three runs and Kevin Cash added a solo homer in the victory.

Matt Lindstrom (2-1) picked up the win despite giving up two runs on three hits in the top of the ninth. Houston starter Brian Moehler worked 5 1/3 innings and gave up two runs on five hits with three strikes and one walk.

Willie Harris had an RBI triple and Guzman contributed a run-scoring single in the top of the ninth for Washington, which has dropped five of its last six.

Matt Capps (0-3) suffered the loss for giving up two hits and three unearned runs in the bottom of the ninth. Nationals starter J.D. Martin worked 5 2/3 innings, allowing eight hits, three runs -- two earned -- with four strikeouts and one walk.

In the top of the ninth and Houston clinging to a 3-2 lead, Lindstrom came in and appeared to have things under control after retiring the first two batters. However, pinch-hitter Mike Morse singled and Harris hit a bloop triple down the left field line that scored Morse to tie it. Guzman followed with a run-scoring single to center for a 4-3 Nationals lead.

Capps came on to work the bottom half for the Nationals and surrendered a one- out double to Michael Bourn, then retired Jeff Keppinger on a groundout to shortstop. Berkman hit a line drive to right field that Guzman misplayed into a two-base error that made it a 4-4 game. Lee stepped up to the plate a crushed an 0-1 slider into the left-field seats to give the Astros the dramatic win.

Houston put up a first-inning run off Martin. With runners on the corners and one out, Lee's single scored Keppinger, who reached on an error. Hunter Pence followed with a base hit to left, but Berkman was thrown out at the plate by Josh Willingham.

Cash's one-out solo homer to left in the second and another solo blast from Berkman in the third made it 3-0. The Nationals got a run back in the fourth on a run-scoring base hit by Willingham.

Roger Bernadina made it 3-2 with an RBI single in the sixth, but it could have been more. Bernadina then stole second, putting runners on second and third with two outs before Adam Kennedy ground out to first.

Washington and Houston split six meetings a season ago...Guzman, who started at shortstop and shifted to right field as part of a double switch in the eighth, committed three errors...Washington went 3-for-7 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven, while Houston finished 4-for-12 with RISP and left eight.

For more reaction, please visit Federal Baseball.


Washington Nationals (26-28) At Houston Astros (19-34), 2:05 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Houston Astros hope to post their second winning series in more than a month when they close out a four-game set Thursday afternoon versus the Washington Nationals at Minute Maid Park.

After losing the opener of this series on Monday by 10 runs, the Astros have rebounded with consecutive victories and recorded a 5-1 victory last night behind five decent innings from starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez. Rodriguez improved to 3-7 on the season with five innings of one-run ball and eight strikeouts.

"Tonight I felt comfortable with my breaking ball," Rodriguez said. "It was the best I had all year."

Carlos Lee hit a two-run homer and Hunter Pence knocked in a pair of runs for the Astros, who walked off with an 8-7 win in the bottom of the ninth of Tuesday's matchup on Lance Berkman's two-run single.

The Astros have won three of four contests and are aiming for their second series triumph since sweeping St. Louis in three games from May 11-13. Their previous series win was a three-game sweep of Pittsburgh from April 23-25.

Taking the mound for Houston Thursday will be Brian Moehler, who will make his second straight start and 14th appearance of the season. Moehler was destroyed in his previous outing on Saturday in a 12-2 loss at Cincinnati, as he was reached for eight runs and 10 hits in only 2 2/3 innings. The righty fell to 0-2 this season and raised his earned run average to 7.29. Moehler is 3-4 with a 4.97 ERA in 14 career meetings (9 starts) with Washington.

Meanwhile, the Nationals have dropped two in a row and four of their last five games. In last night's four-run setback in the Lone Star State, Adam Dunn went 3-for-4 with the team's lone RBI and Nyjer Morgan had a pair of hits.

Washington starter John Lannan was sent packing with his fifth loss of the season, permitting five runs -- two earned -- on eight hits and two walks.

"It was an OK outing," Lannan said on the Nats' website. "I wish I could have done better. Changeup felt good. When I needed to throw a strike, I did. The curveball felt pretty good."

Lannan didn't get much help with three errors from shortstop Ian Desmond and 13 strikeouts from his hitters. Washington has fanned 13 times in each of the previous two games.

Taking the ball for the Nationals today will be J.D. Martin, who is set to make his second start of the season. The second-year righty made his 2010 debut in last Saturday's 4-2 loss at San Diego and gave up four runs -- one earned -- in six innings. He also struck out five batters.

Martin has never faced the Astros in his career.

Washington and Houston split six meetings a season ago.

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