The Houston Astros lost their first game in 13 days on Saturday night. Despite their 11-game winning streak (WAS 13, HOU 6) being tied for the longest in baseball this season, the Astros lost to the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park (the New York Yankees won 11 straight games from April 22 to May 3).
Righty, Astros With seven runs on eight hits and three walks allowed in 3 2/3 innings, Cristian Javier struggled to a loss on Friday. He had a 0.83 ERA going into the game and a 3.20 ERA after the game. Washington was paced by three-run home runs from Yadiel Hernandez and two-run blasts from Maikel Franco. A bases-clearing double by Nelson Cruz rounded out the scoring.
Before allowing 13 runs and two home runs on Saturday, Houston had gone 11 games without allowing more than two runs or two long balls. The Nationals entered the game with the fifth-lowest number of home runs in the league, 24. An embarrassing loss to Washington is the furthest thing from a foregone conclusion. Baseball is a game that defies prediction.
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In a positive development for the Astros, first baseman Yuli Gurriel has shown some signs of life in recent days. After going 2 for 4 with a home run on Friday, he went 3 for 4 with two doubles on Saturday. He has three extra-base hits in his last two games, following 14 games in which he had just four extra-base hits in total. For some time now, the Astros have been hoping he’d get it going.
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The Astros still lead the AL West with a 22-12 record despite Friday’s defeat. Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker moved up to 10th all-time in wins with his team’s 11th straight victory on Friday. The three-game interleague series between the Astros and the Nationals concludes on Sunday afternoon.