By Derek Fogel

Houston (SPORTSRADIO 610) – Two high-profile pitchers were on display Thursday night at Minute Maid Park, but neither would factor into the decision. After the Astros lineup could only muster three hits off of Nationals’ starter Stephen Strasburg, they came up with four in the bottom of the ninth to scratch 2-runs across and tie the game at 3. However, things would unravel on reliever Tyler Clippard in the 11th, and the Astros fell by a final score of 5-4 to drop the series.

“Tough game to lose obviously, tough series to lose, two really good teams. Two teams trying to get healthy and get right for the stretch run,” Astros Manager A.J. Hinch said.

Dallas Keuchel went 7 innings allowing 4 hits and 3 runs however only 2 were earned. He allowed two walks in the game and unfortunately enough they would both circle the bases and score. The bump in the road came in a rocky 5th inning.

“It was just an unfortunate turn of events there in the 5th… I need to be a little bit better. I’m thankful we kind of came alive there in the 9th,” Keuchel said. “Good teams go through this and I mean we’re knocking the door each and every inning.”

Astros second baseman Jose Altuve left the game after an at-bat in the 6th inning in which he flew out to left field to end the inning, but did not return to the field. His neck had been bothering him throughout the game and progressively got worse. The injury is described as neck discomfort and not something that he has felt before.

“I felt it barely in my at-bat before and then I realized I felt it again and it was getting worse, so you know I was like ‘ok, something is happening here’,” Altuve said. “I’m not used to having this kind of stuff in my body and to come out of the game, so yeah, you have to be worried. But to be honest, I don’t think it’s something really really bad.”

Jose is currently batting .358 this season with an on-base percentage of .418 which are both currently career highs. He also has 19 home runs and 67 runs batted in. Altuve is considered day-to-day.

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