HOUSTON (AP) Lane Thomas and Keibert Ruiz each hit an RBI single in a three-run 10th inning that carried the Washington Nationals past the Houston Astros 4-1 on Thursday night to prevent a three-game sweep.
Ruiz homered off Houston closer Ryan Pressly leading off the ninth to break a scoreless tie, but pinch-hitter Yainer Diaz tied it in the bottom half with a two-out RBI single against winner Hunter Harvey (3-3).
Thomas gave Washington a 2-1 lead with a one-out single off Phil Maton (0-2) in the 10th. Luis García singled and Jeimer Candelario was hit by a pitch before Corey Dickerson drew a bases-loaded walk.
“We fought,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “We still left a lot of guys on base, but we got big hits and big walks when we needed them.”
Ruiz hit a blooper to left field for his RBI single, but Matt Gage struck out Dominic Smith and Stone Garrett to leave the bases loaded.
“I think we were starting to get balls up in the zone and balls we could hit,” Martinez said of the late-inning at-bats. “Stayed in the middle of the field and got hits in the middle of the field, which was huge.”
Maton said he was trying to get the ball on the ground or a strikeout to get out of the 10th.
“The two 0-2 counts where we got contact on the ground and then me hitting Candelario are the ones I am more upset about, not really giving us a chance to get that big strikeout and make that inning a little bit easier,” Maton said.
Carl Edwards Jr. threw a scoreless inning for his second save.
Ruiz homered to right field on a 2-2 pitch from Pressly.
“Great at-bat by him right there. He stayed on a breaking ball,” Martinez said. “The way he hit it was a line drive. That’s awesome. Then, he comes up again and stays inside the ball, stays in the middle of the field and knocks in another big run for us. What a good day.”
Kyle Tucker doubled leading off the bottom of the ninth and scored on Diaz’s single up the middle.
MacKenzie Gore yielded four hits in 5 2/3 shutout innings for the last-place Nationals. He struck out four and walked three. It was his second scoreless start of the season.
“It wasn’t the prettiest outing that we’ve seen, but zeros play, and everybody did a good job coming in,” Gore said. “The bullpen was awesome. It was one of those days where I wasn’t great, but I went out there and got as many outs as I could.”
Mason Thompson tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief. Ruiz finished with three hits and Washington snapped an eight-game losing streak in games started by Gore.
Cristian Javier fired six shutout innings for Houston, scattering five hits and walking none. The right-hander has allowed one run or fewer in five of his last six starts.
“He was very good,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “Their guy was good, too. He’s one of the finer young pitchers that we have faced. … He was throwing 95-96 mph with a good slider and a good curveball. It was a pitchers' duel there until the very end.”
Javier retired 13 of 14 batters during one stretch. He got 15 of his 18 outs on flyouts or popups for the defending World Series champions.
Astros: SS Jeremy Peña returned to the lineup after missing the previous three games with an undisclosed illness. He went 1 for 4.
Baker celebrated his 74th birthday. Smith turned 28.
Dickerson was called for a pitch-clock violation in the fourth, resulting in strike two. He ended up hitting a single on the 10th pitch of the at-bat.
Nationals: RHP Trevor Williams (3-4, 4.11 ERA) is scheduled to start Friday night at home against Miami RHP Sandy Alcantara (2-5, 4.75) in the opener of a three-game series.
Astros: RHP J.P. France (2-1, 3.54 ERA) starts Friday night at home in the opener of a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds.
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