The Washington Nationals third baseman delivered.
With an estimated 300 friends and family in the stands for the
second game in a row, Rendon went 4-for-5 — finishing a triple
short of his first cycle — and the Nationals rolled to a 7-0
win over the Houston Astros on Wednesday night at Minute Maid
Rendon, a native of Houston, hit a single and two doubles in the
first four innings before launching his fourth home run of the
season, an opposite-field shot in the sixth. In the eighth, he
just missed his second homer of the game, flying out to the
warning track in left field.
"It was good to get the first (game) out of the way," said
Rendon, who played at Rice University in Houston. "I have to say
that I am a little upset that I couldn't get a little more
action headed their way with a little more cheering (Tuesday in
Washington's 4-3 win). I relaxed more today and get some hits."
Jordan Zimmermann (2-1) pitched 6 1/3 innings for the Nationals
(16-12), who swept the Astros in their first visit to Houston
since 2012. Washington won for the fifth time in seven games.
Zimmermann allowed seven hits while striking out seven and
walking one in his first quality start since April 14 at Miami.
"I didn't feel as good as I would have liked," Zimmermann said.
"They got me some runs early, so I settled down. The first
inning I threw 20-some pitches, and basically the whole night I
was battling back to get the pitch count to where I wanted it to
Zimmermann recorded his 45th win in a Nationals uniform, making
him the winningest pitcher since the team moved from Montreal to
Washington, D.C., after the 2004 season.
Center fielder Denard Span, left fielder Kevin Frandsen and
second baseman Danny Espinosa also had multi-hit games for the
Nationals, who have 126 runs in 28 games, a 4.50 average that is
good for third in the National League.
First baseman Jesus Guzman had three hits for the Astros (9-19),
who lost for the 12th time in 16 games. Houston did not record
an extra-base hit until Guzman doubled in the eighth. Shortstop
Jonathan Villar added two singles for the Astros, who were shut
out for the third time this season.
Zimmermann, who gave up a combined seven runs (four earned) in
his previous two starts, allowed two one-out singles in both the
fourth and fifth innings. He got out of both trouble spots, but
when Houston did the same thing in the seventh, Washington
manager Matt Williams went to the bullpen. Right-hander Aaron
Barrett got the next two outs to keep the shutout intact.
Astros starter Brett Oberholtzer (0-5) allowed six runs in 4 2/3
innings. He gave up 11 hits and walked two.
Oberholtzer worked out of trouble in the first two innings, but
the Nationals answered with six runs in the next three innings
to chase the second-year lefty.
Span led off the third with a triple to right-center and scored
after Astros rookie right fielder George Springer mishandled the
ball three times.
"I think we just have to do a better job of coming out and being
ready to play and not trying to win a ballgame coming from
behind in the later innings," Oberholtzer said. "This is the big
leagues; guys are ready to attack."
An inning later, Rendon hit a two-run double — his third hit of
the game — to make it 4-0. Rendon hit Oberholtzer's 1-2
offering into the corner in left to score catcher Sandy Leon and
"(Rendon) swings the bat well," Oberholtzer added.
Designated hitter Jayson Werth followed with an RBI single to
Espinosa hit a solo homer to left in the fifth before the Astros
went to the bullpen.
"It looks like (Oberholtzer) has gotten away from pitching over
the inner third of the plate," said Astros manager Bo Porter.
"When you get predictable to one side of the plate, major league
hitters are going to take advantage of that. He left some balls
NOTES: Astros RHP Scott Feldman (biceps tendinitis) was set to
come off the disabled list to pitch Sunday, but the team said it
plans to give Feldman (2-1, 1.69 ERA) a few more days to get
ready for his next start. ... Nationals manager Matt Williams
kept 1B Adam LaRoche out of the lineup Wednesday due to a sore
quad muscle. Williams said the extra day of rest would give the
muscle a chance to "calm down a bit." ... Washington's 3-2 win
over Houston on Tuesday was the Nationals' eighth
come-from-behind victory of the season. Only the Milwaukee
Brewers (nine) and New York Mets (nine) have more among National
League teams. ... Houston's Jose Altuve has committed just one
error since July 9, 2013, and his .998 fielding percentage is
tops in the majors among second basemen during that time.
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