WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) — Yadiel Hernandez and Machel Franco romped home and the Washington Nationals ended the Houston Astros’ 11-game winning streak, romancing 13-6 on Saturday night.
Manager Dusty Baker and the Astros fell one game short of matching a franchise-record 12-game winning string achieved in 1999, 2004 and 2018.
The Houston crews fashioned a 0.91 ERA during this recent race, but Nelson Cruz and the Nationals collected 14 hits and five walks against five pitchers. Starter Christian Xavier (2-1) was tagged in for seven runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings – the Astros had scored a total of four in their last five matches.
Jose Siri had a homer, triple and single for Houston. Yuli Guriel also got three hits.
Cruz had a three-run double, two singles and a walk for the Nationals – which improved to 5-14 at home. Juan Soto doubled, walked twice and scored three.
Josh Rogers (2-2) took an innings to win. Washington starter Eric Fedde was relegated in fifth place after Siri’s leadoff homer made 7-3.
Hernandez hit an RBI single in the first and added a three-run homer to the national bullpen in the third to take a 4-0 lead.
Houston got twice back in the fourth, but the Nationals loaded the base with two bunt singles and a one-out walk for Soto in the bottom half. Josh Bell walks out, but Cruz hits a full-count fastball from Javier to the base of the wall in the right center to clear the bases.
Franco hit a two-run homer in the fifth, and Washington added four more runs in the sixth.
Astros: 2B Jose Altuve, picked up for a defensive replacement in the ninth inning on Friday for precautionary reasons after slipping on the grass earlier in the game, was given a planned day off. … SS Jeremy Pea missed his second game since skipping a game on Thursday in Minnesota with a knee injury. Baker said Pea could play on Sunday.
The Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasberg (recovering from thoracic outlet surgery) and RHP Joe Ross (right elbow bone spur removal) each threw two-innings mock games on Friday in Florida. Manager Dave Martinez said the two would go on a five-day routine until they worked 90 pitches.
Astros: RHP Justin Verlander (4-1.1.55 ERA) pitched eight shutout innings and allowed a hit in his last start against the Twins on Tuesday. He is 2-0 with 2.57 ERA in two career starts against the Nations.
National: LHP Patrick Corbin (0-5, 6.06) faces the Astros for the first time since Game 7 of the 2019 World Series, when he played three innings of scoreless relief.
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