Nationals 4, Astros 3: Houston unable to hold the line against Washington

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Astros unable to shut the door on the Nationals.

This has been an all too familiar story for the Astros these past two season, and it's probably been longer than that. The bullpen is given a lead and fails to hold it. The Astros entered the eighth inning with a 3-to-2 lead over the Nationals. Anthony Bass gave up a single to Jayson Werth, he was promptly replaced by the left-hander Raul valdes. Valdes was brought in to face the left-handed batter Adam LaRoche. LaRoche drove Werth in with a double - tieing the game.

Adam LaRoche would play spoiler again in the ninth. This time against Josh Fields, who had walked two of the three batters faced before the National's first base batted. LaRoche drove in Denard Span from third, who had walked, stole second, and moved over third on a ground out.

The rally bobblehead appeared to be working as the Astros put two men on with two outs against Nats closer Rafael Soriano in the bottom of the ninth. Jose Altuve would end the game on line drive to outfield.

Taking step back to look at the two positives in the game. Jarred Cosart pitched another tight game, 2 ER, 5H , 2 BB, and 6 SO over six innings. This was his second straight no decision at the hands of the bullpen.

The Astros offense was able to score three runs of one of the National League's best pitchers, Gio Gonzalez. In the third inning Matt Dominguez doubled, and Dexter Fowler drove him in with a single. Jason Castro doubled, and George Springer singled in both Castro and Fowler. Springer would advance to second on the throw home. The offense has shown clear signs of life over the past week.

And what can you do when things are going the Nats' way? Case in point -

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