We’re off and running at Nationals Park, and the Nationals have a 1-0 lead after the opening inning.
And when I say running, I mean running - to the tune of three stolen bases in the first inning. Denard Span got the first, although it took a video replay challenge by manager Matt Williams to make it official, and Anthony Rendon swiped a pair.
Span led off by drawing a leadoff walk, stole second and advanced to third on Rendon’s single. Rendon swiped second when Jayson Werth struck out, and Adam LaRoche’s sac fly to right plated Span for a 1-0 lead. With Ryan Zimmerman batting and Astros starter Scott Feldman not paying attention to him, Rendon walked to third without drawing a throw before Zimmerman walked. But Ian Desmond fanned swinging to end the threat.
Left-hander Gio Gonzalez heads to the mound for the second inning with the lead.
Update: Gonzalez has looked a little rusty, but the Nats are anything but on the base paths. They’ve now stolen five bags, their most since six swipes on July 8, 2012.
Desmond’s third-inning RBI single scored Werth, who singled and - you guessed it! - stole second. It’s 2-0 heading to the fourth.
Update II: The Astros have taken a 4-2 lead after a long rally in the fourth. Gonzalez loaded the bases with none out and Matt Dominguez slapped a two-run single to left. Jason Castro then doubled in another run for a 3-2 lead and Jonathan Villar hit a sac fly to left for a two-run cushion. Gonzalez needed 35 pitches to get through the inning, so he’s probably not long for the game.
Update III: Gonzalez is out after five innings. He allowed four runs on five hits, with three walks and six strikeouts. Ross Detwiler is in to work the sixth.
Update IV: The Nationals cut the deficit to 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI double by Span. Danny Espinosa reached on a bunt single, moved to second on Detwiler’s sacrifice bunt and scored easily on Span’s double to the gap in right-center. But Span was thrown out at third for the inning’s final out, trying to stretch it into a triple.
Update V: Detwiler uncorked a run-scoring wild pitch in the seventh, and left with the bases loaded and two outs with the Nats down 5-3. Aaron Barrett came on to get the final out.
Update VI: Rendon led off the bottom of the seventh with a solo homer off Josh Zeid, his 10th, to get the Nats within 5-4. After Werth walked, Darin Downs relieved and yielded a bloop single to center by LaRoche, putting runners on the corners. Astros manager Bo Porter called for Kyle Farnsworth to face Zimmerman, who tied the game with a run-scoring fielder’s choice, beating the relay to first on what could have been a double play.
Desmond then doubled down the left field line, sending Zimmerman to third. Espinosa was intentionally passed and pinch-hitter Nate McLouth lofted a sac fly for a 6-5 lead.
Update VII: The Nats win 6-5, posting their 17th come-from-behind victory of the season.