By Sky Kerstein

Michael Morse and Jason Marquis put on a show as the Nationals beat the Astros 5-2 and take the first of three in Houston.  Morse led the Nats bats going 3 for 4 with an absolute bomb, number 16 on the year, an RBI and scored two runs while raising his average to .307.

Jason Marquis, whose been the subject of trade rumors, had one of his best outings of the year going eight innings, striking out a season high nine, letting up six hits and two runs.  Marquis raised his record to 8-4 and lowered his ERA to 3.92.

The Nationals got on the board first in the fifth on Morse’s solo shot, but the Astros came right back in the bottom of the inning with a Carlos Corporan RBI double to tie it up.  The Astros took a quick lead in the bottom of the sixth on a Carlos Lee RBI double, but the Nationals tied it right back in the top of the seventh on a Ryan Zimmerman solo shot which was his fifth of the season.

In the top of the ninth the Nationals took full control, knocking in three and putting the game away.  Ryan Zimmerman had an RBI single scoring Roger Bernadina, then Laynce Nix had a two RBI single knocking in Ryan Zimmerman and Michal Morse.  Drew Storen came on in the ninth, gave up a hit, but struck out the side for his 25th save of the season.

Ryan Zimmerman ended up 2 for 4, with a homer and two RBI and two runs scored.  He is now hitting .255 on the year and Jayson Werth continues to struggle going 0 for 3 and having his average fall to .211.

The Nationals will send Jordan Zimmermann (6-7, 2.66 ERA) to the mound against the Astros JA Happ (3-11, 5.76 ERA.).  Game two of the three game series will start at 8:05 pm with the pregame starting at 7:30 on 106.7 The FAN.


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