Houston, TX (Sports Network) – It took two months, but J.A. Happ finally earned his fourth victory of the season.
Happ (4-11) allowed seven hits and five runs, but Houston’s offense bailed out the left-hander in a 7-6 win over the Washington Nationals. Happ, who had been 0-7 over his previous 10 starts, posted his first triumph since May 14 against the New York Mets.
Michael Bourn went 3-for-5 with three RBI, and his two-run double capped a four-run fourth inning. Clint Barmes smacked a two-run homer and also drove in three runs for the Astros, winners in just two of their last nine games.
Michael Morse and Jerry Hairston Jr. each hit two-run homers for the Nationals, who took the opener of this three-game series, 5-2, on Monday behind Ryan Zimmerman’s go-ahead RBI single in the ninth inning.
Zimmerman nearly tied the game in the final inning on Tuesday. He yanked a 1-2 pitch from Mark Melancon to the right-field corner. The home run distance hit was within inches of hitting the foul pole. Zimmerman then grounded out to second base for the second out. Morse was hit by a pitch and was replaced by pinch-runner Rick Ankiel. Jayson Werth walked on a full count high pitch, but Wilson Ramos then struck out to end the game, securing Melancon’s eighth save of the year.
Jordan Zimmermann (6-8) surrendered seven hits and six runs over five innings, as the Nationals saw their four-game winning streak against the Astros broken.