By Derek Fogel

Houston (SPORTSRADIO 610) – It was a tough night for the Astros in the clutch. They were only 3-for-11 with runners in scoring position and failed to drive in a run both times the bases were loaded. Too many ducks were left on the pond, and the Nationals took the first game at Minute Maid Park by a final score of 4-3.

“Those big moments obviously are big swing moments, they had some good swings on some mistakes that Charlie (Morton) made. And then their pitching came through at the big moments so, tough game to lose,” Houston Manager A.J. Hinch said.

Astros starter Charlie Morton was largely in control of the game striking out six and allowing just five hits through six innings of work. A 2-run home run by Matt Wieters and a 2-RBI triple by Howie Kendrick were his only mistakes on the night. According to Charlie, they were avoidable mistakes given the situation.

“In retrospect you look back, man, in those situations you’re in two out situations. You don’t really have to make perfect pitches, but you have some room there to be a lot better than that… I just grooved them two pitches in the worst spots,” Morton said.

The offensive started hot by plating a run in each of the first three innings, and it looked like Charlie would get plenty of run support. Although the lineup would run out of gas, compiling just three hits in the final six frames. For outfielder Josh Reddick, it is just a matter of someone stepping up.

“We’re one big hit away it seems like. We get a lot of guys on base and we just can’t seem to pull it through with that one guy to get us over the hump,” Josh said. “This is the dog days of the season, that’s for sure… It’s a matter of just grinding through it.”

Carlos Beltran continued his climb up one, of several, of Major League Baseball’s all-time lists. His 2nd inning double was the 560th of his career. This ranks him 26th in MLB history, tied with Jeff Kent and Eddie Murray.


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