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Washington at Houston

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Washington (26-29)0001010024123
Houston (20-34) «1110000036110

Lee's two-run walk-off HR in ninth punctuates Astros' rally

CBSSports.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- Carlos Lee made a bad play in the outfield and then came through with a game-winning hit. Cristian Guzman did just the opposite.

Lee hit a two-run homer in the ninth off Matt Capps after the Astros tied it on Guzman's error in right field and Houston rallied for a 6-4 win over the Washington Nationals on Thursday.

Lee drove an 0-1 pitch into the left-field porch for the Astros' second win in their last at-bat in three days. On Tuesday, Lance Berkman hit a two-run single in the ninth to lift the Astros to an 8-7 win.

The Astros have come from behind to win in 13 of their 20 victories this season.

"That's important going forward," Berkman said. "We've got to believe that no matter what the circumstances are, we have a chance to win it."

Michael Bourn started Thursday's comeback with a double to center. After Jeff Keppinger grounded out, Berkman drove a sinking liner that dropped at Guzman's feet and bounced away. Washington manager Jim Riggleman moved Guzman from shortstop to the outfield on a defensive switch an inning earlier.

Guzman said he lost the ball in the lights.

"It's a tough play for a normal outfielder. More for me," Guzman said. "If it's coming from a little bit outside [the lights], we can do something. The ball coming from right in the middle of the light, it's not easy."

Riggleman said he moved Guzman to right field because he had more speed than the alternative, Mike Morse, who pinch hit and scored a run in the top of the ninth. Guzman has seen time at shortstop, second base and right field this season.

"He's done a great job for us wherever we've put him," Riggleman said. "It turned out to be a miserable day for us."

Before the error - his third of the game -- Guzman was on track to have the winning hit. His single gave the Nationals a 4-3 lead in the top of the ninth off Astros closer Matt Lindstrom.

Lindstrom (2-1) got the first two outs of the inning before Morse singled. Willie Harris then dropped a blooper just inside the left-field line, and the ball bounced over Lee and rolled toward the corner.

"It was a tough break there," Lee said. "They hit a ball that barely hit the line and took a funny hop. I was trying to stop them from getting extra bases to keep the guy from scoring. It bounced over my head."

Guzman then singled to center and Washington took its first lead of the game. Capps (0-3) replaced Tyler Clippard and got Cory Sullivan on a groundout before the Astros rallied.

Guzman committed two errors playing shortstop before the pivotal mistake in the outfield.

"Making an error, losing a game like that, it's really hard," Guzman said.

The Astros salvaged a solid effort by starter Brian Moehler, who allowed two runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings. Moehler made his second start in place of Bud Norris, who's on the disabled list with bursitis and right biceps tendinitis.

Washington starter J.D. Martin allowed two earned runs and eight hits with four strikeouts. He may be the odd man out when the Nationals bring up 21-year-old phenom Stephen Strasburg to start Tuesday's game against Pittsburgh. Strasburg made his last minor-league start on Thursday, allowing no runs on three hits in five innings for Triple-A Syracuse.

Keppinger reached on Guzman's throwing error in the bottom of the first, the fourth error by a Washington shortstop in two games. Rookie Ian Desmond committed three in Wednesday's 5-1 loss.

Keppinger went to third on Berkman's single and scored on Lee's single. The Nationals have allowed 28 unearned runs in 32 games and their 50 errors lead the majors.

"The number of errors is misleading, but we haven't played good defense in the last week," Riggleman said. "I don't have an explanation for it. I know we work hard at it. I don't know if we're not concentrating enough pitch-to-pitch, I don't know what's going on."

Kevin Cash homered into the left-field porch in the second, his first home run since 2008, when he played for Boston. Berkman drove another homer into the left-field seats in the third, his sixth of the season.

The Nationals cut the deficit to 3-2, but grounded into inning-ending double plays in the seventh and eighth, against Jeff Fulchino and set-up man Brandon Lyon. Lyon has not allowed a run in 21 of 25 appearances this season.

Notes
  • The Astros are 13-1 when leading after seven innings.
  • Riggleman said left-hander Scott Olsen will probably make a rehab start next week.
  • Nationals 1B Adam Dunn said he wasn't surprised that Ken Griffey, Jr. retired on Wednesday. Dunn and Griffey played together in Cincinnati from 2001-07. "He was the greatest player in the game, and I was just a little peon," Dunn said. "But it didn't matter who you were. He was always happy to help you. He just fit in with everyone. He wasn't your typical superstar. He was an awesome teammate."
 
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 swarmed by teammates after his two-run blast in the ninth wins it for the Astros. (AP)
Carlos Lee is swarmed by teammates after his two-run blast in the ninth wins it for the Astros. (AP)

Players of the Game
Houston

C. Lee
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Washington

R. Zimmerman
AB 2
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Washington Nationals
Cristian Guzman, SS-RF5011002 .313
Nyjer Morgan, CF5010002 .259
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B2220100 .311
Adam Dunn, 1B4000024 .274
Josh Willingham, LF4021011 .277
    Tyler Clippard, P00000001.000
    Wil Nieves, C0000000 .203
Roger Bernadina, RF3011001 .244
    Drew Storen, P00000001.000
    Ian Desmond, SS1000010 .263
Adam Kennedy, 2B4000013 .239
Carlos Maldonado, C3020000 .273
   a- Mike Morse, PH1110000 .300
    Matt Capps, P0000000 .000
J.D. Martin, P2010001 .250
    Willie Harris, RF-LF2111001 .186
Totals36412415  
a-singled for Maldonado in the 9th
Batting
2B - Ryan Zimmerman (14, Moehler)
3B - Willie Harris (1, Lindstrom)
RBI - Cristian Guzman (17), Josh Willingham (37), Roger Bernadina (14), Willie Harris (17)
2-OUT RBI - Cristian Guzman (6), Roger Bernadina (9), Willie Harris (3)
SB - Cristian Guzman (2, 2nd base off Lindstrom/Cash), Roger Bernadina (3, 2nd base off Daigle/Cash)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Josh Willingham 1
DP - Kennedy-Guzman-Dunn
E - Cristian Guzman 3 (5, Throwing)
Washington Nationals
J.D. Martin 5.2832142 2.31
Drew Storen 1.1100100 2.25
Tyler Clippard 1000000 1.77
Matt Capps (BS,3; L,0-3) 0.2230001 2.81
Pitches-Strikes - J.D. Martin 103-69, Drew Storen 28-16, Tyler Clippard 13-8, Matt Capps 17-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J.D. Martin 10-3, Drew Storen 1-3, Tyler Clippard 1-2, Matt Capps 2-1
Batters Faced - J.D. Martin 26, Drew Storen 6, Tyler Clippard 3, Matt Capps 5
Houston Astros
Michael Bourn, CF4110101 .271
Jeff Keppinger, 2B5110011 .300
Lance Berkman, 1B5221001 .246
Carlos Lee, LF5123013 .213
Hunter Pence, RF4010014 .276
Pedro Feliz, 3B4010002 .222
Tommy Manzella, SS4000011 .200
Kevin Cash, C3121100 .206
Brian Moehler, P2010001 .333
    Tim Byrdak, P0000000 .000
    Casey Daigle, P0000000 .000
   a- Jason Michaels, PH1000002 .196
    Jeff Fulchino, P0000000 .000
    Brandon Lyon, P0000000 .000
    Matt Lindstrom, P0000000 .000
   b- Cory Sullivan, PH1000000 .188
Totals38611524  
a-flied out for Daigle in the 6th
b-grounded out for Lindstrom in the 9th
Batting
2B - Michael Bourn (11, Capps), Pedro Feliz (8, Martin)
HR - Lance Berkman (6, Martin), Carlos Lee (7, Capps), Kevin Cash (1, Martin)
RBI - Lance Berkman (23), Carlos Lee 3 (26), Kevin Cash (2)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Lee 2 (11)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Manzella-Keppinger-Berkman, Keppinger-Manzella-Berkman, Manzella-Keppinger-Berkman
Houston Astros
Brian Moehler 5.1522130 6.49
Tim Byrdak (H,2) 0.1000000 6.23
Casey Daigle (H,2) 0.1200000 0.00
Jeff Fulchino (H,2) 1100000 7.17
Brandon Lyon (H,8) 1100010 3.47
Matt Lindstrom (BS,3; W,2-1) 1322010 3.47
HBP - Zimmerman (by Brandon Lyon)
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Moehler 67-45, Tim Byrdak 3-2, Casey Daigle 14-7, Jeff Fulchino 8-6, Brandon Lyon 15-10, Matt Lindstrom 23-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Moehler 8-4, Casey Daigle 1-0, Jeff Fulchino 1-1, Brandon Lyon 1-0, Matt Lindstrom 1-1
Batters Faced - Brian Moehler 21, Tim Byrdak 1, Casey Daigle 3, Jeff Fulchino 3, Brandon Lyon 4, Matt Lindstrom 6
Game Information
Attendance - 21814
Game Time - 3:01
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Paul Emmel, First Base - Bill Hohn, Second Base - Gary Darling, Third Base - Bruce Dreckman