Washington at Houston

Scoreboard
Washington (25-60)0001004005111
Houston (43-43) «0112000116130

Blum's walk-off carries Astros past Nats; Oswalt hurt

CBSSports.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- Geoff Blum drove in the winning run for Houston the night after barking at an Astros fan who criticized his effort.

Blum's bases-loaded single scored Miguel Tejada in the ninth inning and the Astros rallied after Roy Oswalt was injured to beat the Washington Nationals 6-5 on Friday night.

Blum drove home the winning run in the Astros' last at-bat for the third time this season. He did it in consecutive games against the Chicago Cubs in June. Houston won for the ninth time in their last at-bat.

The third baseman was a hot topic on local sports radio Friday after yelling at a fan who booed him during Thursday's 9-4 victory over Washington. Blum led off an inning with a double and said the fan called him out for not making it a triple.

"After last night, it was interesting to say the least," Blum said. "I got a chance at redemption and I took advantage of it."

Michael Bourn drove in three runs and assisted on two putouts at the plate to help the Astros (43-43) reach .500 for the first time since they were 1-1 on April 7.

Houston manager Cecil Cooper said Bourn is the Astros' most valuable player in the first half of the season. The speedy center fielder went 2 for 5 and stole a base.

"It's always a compliment to hear your manager say that," Bourn said. "That's a good compliment for the first half, but I've still got a long way to go."

Oswalt allowed three runs and five hits before leaving in the seventh with numbness in two fingers in his right hand. He hurt his hand when he broke his bat on a groundout in the sixth, but he expects to make his next scheduled start, the first game after the All-Star break.

"I'm sure I'll be fine," he said.

Tejada led off the ninth with a single against Joe Beimel (0-5), who retired Lance Berkman before being replaced by Mike MacDougal. Tejada moved up on Carlos Lee's fly out to center and Hunter Pence was intentionally walked.

MacDougal struggled with his control after putting on Pence, throwing a wild pitch and walking Ivan Rodriguez before Blum singled to right to end the game.

The Nationals have lost five straight and nine of their last 11.

"It's at the point where it's just embarrassing for us," Beimel said. "I think everyone in the clubhouse should be embarrassed about the way we play and just the way we lose games.

"We find a way all the time. It's just sickening."

Beimel gave up Jeff Keppinger's tying sacrifice fly in the eighth. Blum helped set up the run when he doubled after the Nationals misplayed his foul pop earlier in the at-bat.

Jeff Fulchino (3-3) got the win with some help from Bourn in the ninth. Nyjer Morgan hit a one-out single to center with Willie Harris on second but Bourn made a perfect throw to the plate to keep the game tied at 5.

"I was trying to get rid of it pretty quick," Bourn said. "I just knew if I threw it on line, I'd have a good chance."

Cristian Guzman's two-run single off Chris Sampson put the Nationals ahead 5-4 in the seventh.

Lee and Bourn hit leadoff homers in the second and third off Scott Olsen to put Houston up 2-0.

Oswalt retired the first nine batters. Morgan led off the fourth with a single to right, then stole second and third. He scored on Nick Johnson's one-out double to left-center to cut the Astros' lead to 2-1.

Johnson tried to score on Adam Dunn's single to center, but Bourn threw him out at home.

Bourn drove in two runs with a single in the fourth. Oswalt retired seven of eight hitters before running into trouble in the seventh.

Dunn and Josh Willingham led off with consecutive doubles and pitching coach Dewey Robinson came out to check on Oswalt. A trainer and Cooper jogged to the mound and Oswalt left after a brief discussion.

Notes

  • Nationals 3B Ryan Zimmerman missed the game to fly home to North Carolina, where his grandmother died. Zimmerman was expected to rejoin the team Saturday.
  • Cooper and RHP Russ Ortiz met in the manager's office before the game. Ortiz was upset when Cooper pulled him after he gave up four runs in three innings on Thursday night. "I explained to him why I took him out, that was all," Cooper said. "We're good to go. He was just frustrated."
 
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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Carlos Lee is all over Geoff Blum (center) after the latter comes up with another game winner. (AP)
Carlos Lee is all over Geoff Blum (center) after the latter comes up with another game winner. (AP)

Players of the Game
Houston

M. Bourn
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Houston

G. Blum
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Washington Nationals
Nyjer Morgan, CF5130011 .282
    Mike MacDougal, P0000000 .000
Cristian Guzman, SS5012012 .304
Nick Johnson, 1B4011022 .299
Adam Dunn, LF4120001 .263
    Joe Beimel, P0000000 .000
    Austin Kearns, RF0000000 .197
Josh Willingham, RF-LF3111001 .295
Josh Bard, C4000012 .271
Alberto Gonzalez, 2B-3B4110001 .304
Willie Harris, 3B-LF^CF3121100 .253
Scott Olsen, P2000021 .133
   a- Ronnie Belliard, PH1000012 .173
    Sean Burnett, P0000000 .000
    Jason Bergmann, P0000000 .000
    Anderson Hernandez, 2B0000000 .256
Totals35511518  
a-struck out for Olsen in the 7th
Batting
2B - Nick Johnson (14, Oswalt), Adam Dunn (15, Oswalt), Josh Willingham (15, Oswalt)
SH - Anderson Hernandez (3)
RBI - Cristian Guzman 2 (23), Nick Johnson (36), Josh Willingham (22), Willie Harris (16)
2-OUT RBI - Cristian Guzman 2 (12)
SB - Nyjer Morgan 2 (23, 2nd base off Oswalt/Rodriguez, 3rd base off Oswalt/Rodriguez)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Gonzalez-Guzman-N. Johnson, Guzman-Gonzalez-N. Johnson
E - Willie Harris (2, Throwing)
Washington Nationals
Scott Olsen 6944212 6.03
Sean Burnett (H,7) 0.2000110 2.79
Jason Bergmann (H,1) 0.1000010 6.75
Joe Beimel (BS,4; L,0-5) 1.1322110 3.63
Mike MacDougal 0.1100200 4.64
IBB - Matsui by Joe Beimel, Pence by Mike MacDougal
WP - Mike MacDougal (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Olsen 94-59, Sean Burnett 14-6, Jason Bergmann 4-3, Joe Beimel 28-16, Mike MacDougal 14-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Olsen 8-7
Batters Faced - Scott Olsen 27, Sean Burnett 3, Jason Bergmann 1, Joe Beimel 8, Mike MacDougal 4
Houston Astros
Michael Bourn, CF5123022 .289
Miguel Tejada, SS5120000 .330
Lance Berkman, 1B4000113 .273
Carlos Lee, LF5131011 .309
Hunter Pence, RF4010101 .302
Ivan Rodriguez, C4110102 .249
Geoff Blum, 3B4131100 .281
Kazuo Matsui, 2B2110200 .242
Roy Oswalt, P2000002 .171
    Chris Sampson, P0000000 .000
    Tim Byrdak, P0000000 .000
    Alberto Arias, P0000000 .000
   a- Jeff Keppinger, PH0001000 .269
    Jeff Fulchino, P0000000 .000
Totals35613664  
a-hit a sacrifice fly for Arias in the 8th
Batting
2B - Geoff Blum (8, Beimel)
HR - Michael Bourn (3, Olsen), Carlos Lee (13, Olsen)
SF - Jeff Keppinger (2)
SH - Roy Oswalt (8)
RBI - Michael Bourn 3 (25), Carlos Lee (49), Geoff Blum (27), Jeff Keppinger (15)
2-OUT RBI - Geoff Blum (9)
SB - Michael Bourn (29, 2nd base off Olsen/Bard)
CS - Michael Bourn (8, 3rd base by Olsen/Bard)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Michael Bourn 2
Houston Astros
Roy Oswalt 6533160 3.85
Chris Sampson (BS,3) 0.2422010 3.02
Tim Byrdak 0.2000010 3.68
Alberto Arias 0.2000000 1.65
Jeff Fulchino (W,3-3) 1200000 2.97
HBP - Willingham (by Alberto Arias)
WP - Tim Byrdak (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Roy Oswalt 86-58, Chris Sampson 16-13, Tim Byrdak 8-4, Alberto Arias 9-5, Jeff Fulchino 8-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Roy Oswalt 7-4, Tim Byrdak 1-0, Jeff Fulchino 2-0
Batters Faced - Roy Oswalt 23, Chris Sampson 6, Tim Byrdak 2, Alberto Arias 3, Jeff Fulchino 4
Game Information
Attendance - 33085
Game Time - 3:05
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Brian O'Nora, First Base - Field Culbreth, Second Base - Adrian Johnson, Third Base - Jim Wolf