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Houston at Washington

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Houston (11-15)1000300004100
Washington (7-17) «00002520x9151

Nationals 9, Astros 4

CBSSports.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- Instead of merely admiring his work with the bat, Ryan Zimmerman's teammates are becoming energized by his surge.

Adam Dunn delivered a two-run single during a five-run sixth inning, Zimmerman matched a career high with four hits and the Washington Nationals rallied to beat the Houston Astros 9-4 on Monday night.

"You got to give credit to Zimmerman for staying in there and kind of giving us hope," said Washington's Elijah Dukes, who drove in three runs. "He was hitting, hitting and everybody was [thinking] they might as well join him. We're not going to let him just hit by himself. He's just kept going and we kind of feed off of him."

Zimmerman's first-inning single extended his Nationals-record hitting streak to 22 games. It's the longest in the majors this season.

"I don't really worry about individual stuff. It's nice to get off to a better start and feeling good, knowing the things that I do are working," said Zimmerman, who drove in two runs and is hitting .354 (33-for-93) during his streak.

Washington, which won back-to-back games for only the second time this season, had a season-best 15 hits. After watching their bullpen routinely cough up leads, the Nationals delighted in battering Astros relievers for seven runs on seven hits, six walks and a hit batter over three innings.

"I think we kind of got them the same way everyone's gotten us this year," Zimmerman said. "They walked us a little bit, they gave us a chance to have guys on base and have the big hits."

John Lannan (1-3) worked six innings, allowing four runs -- three earned -- on nine hits and two walks.

Kaz Matsui had two RBI and Carlos Lee added three hits for Houston, which watched Washington erase a 4-2 deficit with a five-run sixth.

"We fought so hard tonight to get a lead in the game, and when you come in and you're not able to hold it, it's just tough on the morale of the whole team," Astros reliever Wesley Wright said. "Leads are hard to come by, and when you get one, you ought to be able to protect it."

Wright (1-1) loaded the bases on a walk to Anderson Hernandez, Cristian Guzman's one-out single and a walk to Nick Johnson. Felipe Paulino relieved and walked Zimmerman before allowing a go-ahead, two-run single by Dunn.

Dukes' RBI single up the middle made it 6-4.

Austin Kearns was hit by a pitch to load the bases again and, after a popup by Jesus Flores, Paulino walked Hernandez to force in another run.

"When we get into that part of our lineup where we have guys who are so patient at the plate -- the Nicks, the Dunns and the Dukes and right now, Zimmerman -- there's a very good chance we can do some damage," Nationals manager Manny Acta said.

The Astros have yielded a major league-high 246 hits this season, while the eight walks issued Monday match a season worst.

Houston took a 1-0 lead in the first on Lance Berkman's RBI double.

Matsui's two-run double sparked a three-run rally in the fifth. Matsui scored on Michael Bourn's double to center, but Bourn was thrown out trying to reach third.

Washington finally got to Astros starter Brian Moehler in the fifth, scoring twice on two-out singles by Dukes and Kearns.

Moehler, activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game after missing three starts because of a sprained right knee, allowed two runs and eight hits in five innings. He walked two and struck out five.

"It was all right. I threw a lot of pitches and I'm not real happy with that," Moehler said. "I didn't make pitches at times. It could have been better, obviously."

Zimmerman added an RBI double in the seventh, then scored on Dukes' third consecutive RBI single.

Notes

Moehler lowered his ERA from 27.00 to 14.00. ... Nationals pinch-hitter Ronnie Belliard batted twice in the sixth, flying out both times. ... To make room on the roster for Moehler, Houston placed RHP Doug Brocail on the 15-day disabled list. Brocail hurt himself Sunday covering first base. ... Washington LHP Joe Beimel, on the 15-day DL with a left hip flexor strain, had a rehabilitation assignment at Double-A Harrisburg rained out Monday and instead threw a bullpen session at Nationals Park. He is expected to come off the disabled list Wednesday.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Washington

R. Zimmerman
AB 4
R 3
H 4
HR 0
RBI 2
Houston

K. Matsui
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Houston Astros
Kazuo Matsui, 2B3222110 .266
Michael Bourn, CF4011002 .299
Lance Berkman, 1B4021000 .198
Carlos Lee, LF4030000 .295
Miguel Tejada, SS4000004 .286
Hunter Pence, RF3000102 .300
Jeff Keppinger, 3B3110001 .364
    Felipe Paulino, P0000000 .167
    Jeff Fulchino, P0000000 .000
   a- Darin Erstad, PH1000000 .160
J.R. Towles, C4110010 .250
Brian Moehler, P1000000 .000
    Wesley Wright, P0000000 .000
    Geoff Blum, 3B2000000 .288
Totals33410422  
a-grounded out for Fulchino in the 9th
Batting
2B - Kazuo Matsui (3, Lannan), Michael Bourn (4, Lannan), Lance Berkman (3, Lannan), Carlos Lee (7, Lannan)
SH - Brian Moehler (1)
RBI - Kazuo Matsui 2 (11), Michael Bourn (7), Lance Berkman (14)
CS - Kazuo Matsui (3, 2nd base by Lannan/Flores), Lance Berkman (1, 3rd base by Lannan/Flores)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Fulchino-Tejada-Berkman
Houston Astros
Brian Moehler 5822250 14.00
Wesley Wright (H,3; L,1-1) 0.1133200 8.31
Felipe Paulino (BS,1) 0.1222200 3.60
Jeff Fulchino 2.1422230 6.52
IBB - Dunn by Jeff Fulchino
HBP - Kearns (by Felipe Paulino)
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Moehler 93-67, Wesley Wright 19-8, Felipe Paulino 23-8, Jeff Fulchino 46-25
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Moehler 5-5, Jeff Fulchino 1-2
Batters Faced - Brian Moehler 25, Wesley Wright 4, Felipe Paulino 6, Jeff Fulchino 12
Washington Nationals
Cristian Guzman, SS6220003 .368
Nick Johnson, 1B4100212 .326
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4342100 .333
Adam Dunn, LF3212213 .300
    Garrett Mock, P0000000 .000
Elijah Dukes, CF5033023 .299
Austin Kearns, RF4021012 .267
Jesus Flores, C5010028 .288
Anderson Hernandez, 2B3121201 .317
John Lannan, P2000013 .200
   a- Ronnie Belliard, PH2000004 .154
    Joel Hanrahan, P0000000 .000
    Willie Harris, LF0000100 .211
Totals38915988  
a-flied out for Lannan in the 6th
Batting
2B - Ryan Zimmerman 2 (11, Moehler, Fulchino), Jesus Flores (3, Moehler)
RBI - Ryan Zimmerman 2 (18), Adam Dunn 2 (20), Elijah Dukes 3 (16), Austin Kearns (13), Anderson Hernandez (7)
2-OUT RBI - Elijah Dukes (7), Austin Kearns (5), Anderson Hernandez (7)
Team LOB - 14
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Elijah Dukes 1
DP - Guzman-A. Hernandez-N. Johnson
E - Nick Johnson (3, Throwing)
Washington Nationals
John Lannan (W,1-3) 6943200 4.59
Joel Hanrahan (H,1) 1000010 6.55
Garrett Mock 2100010 5.14
Pitches-Strikes - John Lannan 92-49, Joel Hanrahan 13-9, Garrett Mock 24-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Lannan 10-5, Joel Hanrahan 1-1, Garrett Mock 1-4
Batters Faced - John Lannan 26, Joel Hanrahan 3, Garrett Mock 7
Game Information
Attendance - 14115
Game Time - 3:05
Temperature - 55
Umpires - Home - Mike Winters, First Base - Lance Barksdale, Second Base - Brian Knight, Third Base - Randy Marsh