Nats top Astros 5-4 in 11 innings

Nats top Astros 5-4 in 11 innings

HOUSTON (AP) -- Anthony Rendon doubled twice and his tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the 11th inning helped the Washington Nationals to a 5-4 victory over the Houston Astros on Thursday night.

Wilmer Difo dropped a bunt single to start the 11th before advancing to second on a groundout by Daniel Murphy. It looked as if Tyler Clippard plunked Ryan Zimmerman on the hand after that and he took first base. But Houston challenged the call and it was overturned, sending him back to the plate.

Clippard (2-7) struck him out, but the wild pitch allowed him to reach first and Difo to take third. The Nationals went on top 4-3 on the sacrifice fly by Rendon. They added an insurance run on an RBI single by Matt Wieters.

Former Astro Matt Albers (7-2) pitched a scoreless 10th for the win and Sammy Solis allowed a home run to J.D. Davis in the 11th before retiring the next three batters for his first save.

Washington led by two entering the ninth inning before an RBI single by Josh Reddick off Brandon Kintzler and a run-scoring double by Yuli Gurriel tied it at 3-3. Carlos Beltran walked with two outs in the ninth, but Brian McCann grounded out to send it to the 10th.

Houston couldn't get anything going off starter Stephen Strasburg and didn't score until an RBI single by McCann cut the lead to 3-1 in the eighth inning.

Strasburg allowed three hits and fanned seven in six scoreless innings in his second start since missing about a month with an elbow injury.

Michael Taylor added an RBI double to help the Nationals win the interleague series between division leaders 2-1.

Houston starter Dallas Keuchel allowed four hits and three runs - two earned - in seven innings.

Keuchel walked Rendon and Wieters with no outs in the fifth inning before a single by Pedro Severino with one out. Keuchel made an error on that play on the throw to first and it skipped to the dugout, allowing Wieters to reach third and Rendon to score and make it 1-0.

Alejandro De Aza grounded into a force out that allowed Wieters to score to push the lead to 2-0.

Taylor's RBI double, which bounced off the bullpen in right-center, extended the lead to 3-0 with one out in the seventh inning.

Alex Bregman, who finished with three hits, doubled with two outs in the sixth. Strasburg was shaken up on that pitch and grabbed his lower left leg after throwing it. Manager Dusty Baker and team trainers came onto the field and checked on him and he was brought a cup of water that he drank and then spit out. Everyone left after a couple of minutes and he remained in the game and retired Jose Altuve to end the inning.

Altuve grimaced in pain after hitting the ball on that play and was removed from the game for the top of the seventh with discomfort in his neck.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer is still dealing with a sore neck and won't start on Friday. Baker said he'll throw a bullpen on Friday and they hope to get him back in the rotation soon.

Astros: C Evan Gattis (concussion) was back in Houston on Thursday after his rehabilitation assignment with Double-A Corpus Christi was cut short as Hurricane Harvey approaches the Gulf Coast. Manager A.J. Hinch said he could be activated on Friday. ... SS Carlos Correa (left thumb surgery) began a rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Fresno on Thursday. He will likely need several games before returning to the lineup. ... RHP Lance McCullers (back discomfort) is scheduled to start for Fresno on Friday.

UP NEXT

Nationals: A.J. Cole (1-3, 5.32 ERA) will be recalled from Triple-A Syracuse to take Scherzer's turn in the rotation on Friday when Washington opens a four-game series with the Mets. Cole's last start in the majors came when he allowed six hits and three runs in six innings of a 4-2 loss to the Giants on Aug. 13.

Astros: Collin McHugh (1-2, 4.01) will start for Houston in the opener of a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday. McHugh yielded six hits in six scoreless innings to get his first win of the season against Oakland in his last start.

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