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Houston at Washington

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Houston (4-8)000100010260
Washington (10-3) «00000012x350

Nationals 3, Astros 2

CBSSports.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- Jordan Zimmermann doesn't care that his excellent pitching performances still haven't earned him a win. He's happy with the 10 his Washington Nationals already have this season.

Zimmermann allowed one run in seven innings, a line that is becoming a habit for him this year, and Washington scored a pair of runs in the eighth inning to pull out a 3-2 victory against the Houston Astros.

The Nationals improved to 10-3 - they became the first team in the majors to reach 10 wins this season. Texas earned its 10th victory later in the evening.

"A win's a win, no matter how we get it," said Zimmermann, who allowed four hits, struck out three and did not walk a batter. "We're getting in the late innings the last couple games, which makes it extra exciting."

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This was the seventh one-run game for the Nationals this season, and they have a 5-2 record in those close contests.

"We understand we're not going to win every one-run game," third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said. "A couple five- or six-run wins would be nice every now and again too."

There was hardly a mention of reaching 10 wins in the Nationals clubhouse, even though the team is off to its best start since moving to Washington from Montreal in 2005.

"I think the best thing we have going is we understand it's early, we're not really taking this over the top," Zimmerman said. "We understand we're going to have some times where we don't play this well, and we're going to have some more times where we do play this well. For a young team, I think we're very mature."

The Nationals trailed 2-1 when Fernando Rodriguez (0-2) gave up a walk and a single to the first two batters in the eighth. Wesley Wright relieved and walked Adam LaRoche, loading the bases.

Rhiner Cruz then came in and walked Jayson Werth, tying the game at 2. A forceout at the plate left the bases loaded for Wilson Ramos, who scored LaRoche with a sacrifice fly to center field.

Houston took a 2-1 lead in the top of the eighth. Jason Castro led off with a double and Zimmerman held him there with a pair of highlight defensive plays - a sliding catch in foul territory of a popped-up bunt and a diving catch on a sharp line drive -- before Jordan Schafer's RBI single that just hopped past the glove of the diving LaRoche at first.

For much of the game, it appeared the two teams were headed for a second straight 1-0 game, as the starters held both offenses in check. Zimmermann and Houston's Lucas Harrell both pitched into the seventh inning, allowing a run apiece.

It is becoming a habitual line for Zimmermann, who is still waiting for his first win despite allowing one earned run over seven innings in each of his three starts this season. In his 21 innings pitched, the Nationals have scored a total of two runs, including one on Roger Bernadina's two-out double in the bottom of the seventh against Houston.

"You can sit here and analyze the numbers all you want, but the fact of the matter is we've got to score him runs," Werth said.

Houston lost its fourth in a row and seven in eight games. Four of the Astros' last five losses have been by one run.

"The ball isn't falling our way," Castro said. "We've had a couple of bad breaks and we just keep playing."

Ryan Mattheus (2-0) gave up two hits and a run in the eighth inning. Henry Rodriguez pitched a perfect ninth for his third save.

"For us to win that game right there, that's a testament to this team and how hard we play and our ability to come back," Werth said. "We believe in ourselves. We're a good club. As the season goes on, we'll continue to prove it."

Notes

Nationals RHP Chien-Ming Wang (left hamstring) threw 35 pitches in a simulated game in Viera, Fla. Washington manager Davey Johnson said Wang would pitch a minor league rehab assignment in five days. ... Johnson said RHP Brad Lidge had suffered from vertigo the past four days, including Tuesday when he earned his second save, but was feeling better Wednesday. ... Houston LF Travis Buck left the game in the middle of the fourth with a mild left hamstring strain after getting an RBI on a groundout. ... Houston RHP Bud Norris (0-0, 4.15 ERA) will face Nationals RHP Edwin Jackson (1-0, 2.57 ERA) in the final game of the four-game series Thursday.

 
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

J. Zimmermann
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 0
K 3
Houston

J. Schafer
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Houston Astros
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jordan Schafer, CF4121010 .279
Jed Lowrie, SS4010002 .261
Travis Buck, LF2001001 .273
    Justin Maxwell, LF2000020 .273
Carlos Lee, 1B4010000 .245
Brian Bogusevic, RF3000001 .121
Chris Johnson, 3B3000001 .300
    Fernando Rodriguez, P0000000 .000
    Wesley Wright, P0000000 .000
    Rhiner Cruz, P0000000 .000
Jason Castro, C3110000 .143
Marwin Gonzalez, 2B-3B3010001 .259
Lucas Harrell, P2000011 .200
    Jose Altuve, 2B1000001 .341
Totals3126204  
Batting
2B - Jason Castro (2, Mattheus), Marwin Gonzalez (3, Zimmermann)
RBI - Jordan Schafer (3), Travis Buck (4)
2-OUT RBI - Jordan Schafer (1)
SB - Jordan Schafer (6, 2nd base off Zimmermann/Ramos)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Harrell-Lowrie-Lee
Houston Astros
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Lucas Harrell 6.2411340 2.55
Fernando Rodriguez (L,0-2) 0.1122200 4.26
Wesley Wright0000100 8.10
Rhiner Cruz (BS,1) 1000100 0.00
IBB - Bernadina by Lucas Harrell
Pitches-Strikes - Lucas Harrell 97-57, Fernando Rodriguez 18-8, Wesley Wright 7-3, Rhiner Cruz 14-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Lucas Harrell 7-8, Rhiner Cruz 1-2
Batters Faced - Lucas Harrell 26, Fernando Rodriguez 4, Wesley Wright 1, Rhiner Cruz 4
Washington Nationals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ian Desmond, SS4000003 .300
Danny Espinosa, 2B3110100 .214
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4020001 .240
Adam LaRoche, 1B3100102 .314
Jayson Werth, RF2001200 .347
Rick Ankiel, CF4110013 .188
Wilson Ramos, C2001122 .212
Roger Bernadina, LF3011113 .161
Jordan Zimmermann, P2000002 .000
   a- Stephen Lombardozzi, PH0000100 .500
    Ryan Mattheus, P0000000 .000
    Henry Rodriguez, P0000000 .000
Totals2735374  
a-walked for Zimmermann in the 7th
Batting
2B - Ryan Zimmerman (4, Harrell), Rick Ankiel (2, Harrell), Roger Bernadina (3, Harrell)
SF - Wilson Ramos (1)
RBI - Jayson Werth (6), Wilson Ramos (3), Roger Bernadina (2)
2-OUT RBI - Roger Bernadina (2)
SB - Jayson Werth (2, 2nd base off Harrell/Castro), Roger Bernadina (2, 3rd base off F. Rodriguez/Castro)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Zimmerman-LaRoche, Desmond-Espinosa-LaRoche
Washington Nationals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jordan Zimmermann 7411030 1.29
Ryan Mattheus (W,2-0) 1211000 6.00
Henry Rodriguez (S,3) 1000010 0.00
HBP - Bogusevic (by Jordan Zimmermann)
Pitches-Strikes - Jordan Zimmermann 86-59, Ryan Mattheus 21-14, Henry Rodriguez 7-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jordan Zimmermann 10-6, Henry Rodriguez 1-1
Batters Faced - Jordan Zimmermann 24, Ryan Mattheus 5, Henry Rodriguez 3
Game Information
Attendance - 14520
Game Time - 2:41
Temperature - 53
Umpires - Home - Tim Tschida, First Base - Chris Conroy, Second Base - Jeff Nelson, Third Base - Bill Welke