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Lyles Can't Catch A Break, Astros Lose 5-2

Houston, TX (Sports Network) - The bounces certainly didn't go Houston's way Monday night...a familiar story in the 2011 season for the Astros.

Ryan Zimmerman hit a solo home run and his RBI single in the ninth inning sent Washington to a 5-2 win over the Houston Astros to begin a three-game series.

Laynce Nix bounced a ball over the head of first baseman Carlos Lee, resulting in two more ninth inning runs, as the Nationals rebounded from a 9-8 walk-off loss to the Braves on Sunday.

Zimmerman's hit off Jordan Lyles prevented the rookie from possibly getting his first major league victory. Lyles (0-5) gave up five hits and was charged with four runs before leaving the game with one out in the ninth inning.

The Astros, who fell to 2-12 this month and a major league-worst 31-65, got an RBI apiece from Lee and Carlos Corporan.

Jason Marquis (8-4) snapped a five-start winless stretch by fanning nine batters over eight innings. Drew Storen fanned three batters in the bottom of the ninth to get his 25th save.

Roger Bernadina singled leading off the ninth inning and moved to second on a bunt by Danny Espinosa. Zimmerman then bounced a hit into right field to give Washington a 3-2 lead. Wilton Lopez came in to spell Lyles, but Michael Morse singled and Jayson Werth walked. That led to Nix's bounce hit over the head of Lee and into right field.

The 20-year-old Lyles, the youngest player in the National League, retired the first nine men he faced until walking Bernadina to begin the fourth inning. Espinosa promptly grounded into a double play and Lyles had faced the minimum through the frame.

Morse homered to left on the first pitch of the fifth inning, but Houston tied it in the bottom half. Jason Michaels doubled to left field, and one out later Corporan pulled a double into the right field corner.

Lee doubled in Angel Sanchez in the sixth, but the Nationals evened things in the seventh on Zimmerman's opposite field homer with one out. The blast to right was his fifth of the year.

Lyles threw a career-high 113 pitches, 80 for strikes...The Nats have won four in a row over the Astros, their longest winning streak against Houston since May 23, 2006-July 16, 2007, also a four-game run...Marquis is 10-8 lifetime against Houston...Lee had two of Houston's seven hits.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.