Astros Bullpen and Ryan Zimmerman Spoil Brian Moehler's Return

Andrew GloverCorrespondent IMay 5, 2009

PITTSBURGH - APRIL 13:  Brian Moehler #38 of the Houston Astros throws a pitch in the second inning while playing the Pittsburgh Pirates during the Pirates Home Opener at PNC Park April 13, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The Astros bullpen allows seven runs as a solid outing by Brian Moehler is wasted in the Washington Nationals 9-4 victory over the Houston Astros.

Moehler (0-2) pitched for the first time since Apr. 13 after injuring his right knee at Pittsburgh. In his return, Moehler pitched five innings, allowed eight hits, two runs, two walks, and struck out five.

Moehler reduced his ERA from 27.00 to 14.00.

Wesley Wright (1-1) got the loss, allowing three runs and two walks in one third of an inning.

Felipe Paulino gave up two runs on two hits and two walks in one third of an inning.

Jeff Fulchino pitched the last two and one third innings and gave up two runs on four hits and two walks.

Carlos Lee, Lance Berkman, and Kazuo Matsui led the Astros’ offense.

Lee was three for four with a double.

Berkman was two for four with a double and one RBI.

Matsui was two for three, scoring two runs, a double, and walked.

Michael Bourn also had an RBI double but was thrown out trying for a triple.

Jeff Keppinger and J.R. Towles scored the Astros other two runs.

Despite a rocky start, John Lannan got his first win of the 2009 season. Lannan pitched six innings, allowing nine hits, four runs (three earned), and two walks.

Joel Hanrahan got a hold pitching one inning and struck out one. 

Garrett Mock pitched the last two innings allowing one hit and struck out one.

Ryan Zimmerman and Elijah Dukes powered the Nationals offense.

Zimmerman was four for four, scoring three runs, two doubles, and two RBI.

Dukes was three for five, driving in three runs.

The Astros were on top early in the game.

Matsui led off the first with a bunt single and almost got stealing, but reached second on an error by Nick Johnson.

Bourn advanced Matsui to third with a fly out to center. Berkman drove in Matsui with a double, and was caught stealing third.

The Astros did strike again in the fifth inning.

Keppinger and Towles led off the inning with singles.

Moehler put down a sacrifice bunt, advancing the runners to second and third.

Matsui doubled to left driving in both Keppinger and Towles.

Bourn followed with his own double driving in Matsui, but was thrown out trying to get to third.

After trailing 4-0, the rest of the game would belong to the Nationals. With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Zimmerman doubled to left and Adam Dunn followed with a walk.

Dukes brought home Zimmerman with a single. Austin Kearns drove in Dunn with a single, cutting the Astros lead to 4-2.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Nationals pulled away.

Wright relieved Moehler and led off the inning by walking A Hernandez.

After getting Ron Belliard out on a fly out to left, Cristian Guzman singled. Wright followed that with walking Nick Johnson to load the bases.

Cecil Cooper pulled Wright in a double switch and put in Paulino and Geoff Blum to play third base.

Paulino walked Zimmerman scoring Hernandez.

Dunn gave the Nationals the lead with a two RBI single scoring Guzman and Johnson. 

Dukes drove in Zimmerman with a single to center. Paulino loaded the bases hitting Kearns.

After getting J Flores to pop out, Paulino walked in a run by walking Hernandez who led off the sixth with a walk giving Washington a 7-4 lead.

The Astros (11-15) entered the game with closer Jose Valverde and Doug Brocail on the disabled list.

The loss ended a two game winning streak for the Astros.

The Nationals (7-17) won their second in a row.

Houston and Washington meet again tomorrow 12:35 p.m. EST.

Roy Oswalt (0-2) will try again for his first win against the Nationals’ starter Scott Olsen (1-3).


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