WASHINGTON (AP)Yadiel Hernandez and Maikel Franco homered and the Washington Nationals ended the Houston Astros’ 11-game winning streak, romping 13-6 on Saturday night.
Manager Dusty Baker and the Astros fell one game short of matching the franchise-record 12-game winning string achieved in 1999, 2004 and 2018.
The Houston staff fashioned a 0.91 ERA during this recent run, but Nelson Cruz and the Nationals collected 14 hits and five walks against five pitchers. Starter Cristian Javier (2-1) was tagged for seven runs and eight hits over 3 2/3 innings – the Astros had allowed a total of four runs over their past five games.
Jose Siri had a homer, triple and a single for Houston. Yuli Gurriel also had three hits
Cruz had a three-run double, two singles and a walk for the Nationals – who improved to 5-14 at home. Juan Soto doubled, walked twice and scored three runs.
Josh Rogers (2-2) worked one inning for the win. Washington starter Erick Fedde was lifted after Siri’s leadoff homer in the fifth made it 7-3.
Hernandez hit an RBI single in the first and added a three-run homer into the Nationals bullpen in the third for a 4-0 lead.
Houston got two back in the fourth, but the Nationals loaded the bases in the bottom half with two bunt singles and a one-out walk to Soto. Josh Bell popped out, but Cruz lined a full-count fastball from Javier off the base of the wall in right center to clear the bases.
Franco hit a two-runner homer in the fifth and Washington added four more runs in the sixth.
Astros: 2B Jose Altuve, lifted for a defensive replacement in the ninth inning Friday for precautionary reasons after he slipped on the grass earlier in the game, was given a planned day off. . SS Jeremy Pena missed his second game since leaving a game Thursday at Minnesota with a knee injury. Baker said Pena could play on Sunday.
Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (recovery from thoracic outlet surgery) and RHP Joe Ross (right elbow bone spur removal) each threw two-inning simulated games Friday in Florida. Manager Dave Martinez said Both will go on a five-day routine until they work up to 90 pitches.
Astros: RHP Justin Verlander (4-1. 1.55 ERA) pitched eight shutout innings and allowed one hit in his last start, Tuesday against the Twins. He’s 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA in two career starts against the Nationals.
Nationals: LHP Patrick Corbin (0-5, 6.06) faces the Astros for the first time since Game 7 of the 2019 World Series when he pitched three innings of scoreless relief.
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