Jayson Werth’s homer pulls Nationals even with Astros

Before today, Jayson Werth hadn’t had an extra-base hit since June 28. His last homer came 12 days before that. He’s got both a double and a homer today, and both of them came after Werth did something he’s usually loathe to doing: swing at the first pitch.

Both Werth’s fourth-inning double and his sixth-inning homer - a two-run shot that tied the game - came on first-pitch swings. Werth had put only 19 first pitches in play all season before today, hitting one of his 10 homers and batting .263 in those situations.

He’s typically been a selective hitter whose calling card is to see lots of pitches in an at-bat, but there have been times this season where he’s almost looked tentative at the plate, watching hittable pitches go by and often looking at third strikes. By pulling the trigger early today, though, he’s had his best game in months, and helped the Nationals pull even with the Astros.

We’re tied at two at the seventh-inning stretch, after Livan Hernandez rebounded from some early struggles to get through six innings. Henry Rodriguez will relieve him in the bottom of the seventh.