Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Nate McLouth's go-ahead sacrifice fly in a three-run seventh inning led the Washington Nationals to a 6-5 victory over the Houston Astros on Wednesday.
Denard Span, Anthony Rendon, Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond each had two hits and an RBI for the Nationals, who took both games in this short interleague set and won their eight straight against the Astros.
Starter Gio Gonzalez returned after missing close to a month with left shoulder inflammation and did not factor into the decision. The left-hander was reached for four runs on five hits and three walks with six strikeouts over five innings.
Aaron Barrett (3-0) recorded just one out to close the seventh to earn the win.
Jose Altuve supplied two hits and Matt Dominguez drove in two runs for Houston, which has dropped three straight games. Reliever Darin Downs (1-1) was tagged with the loss after giving up a run and failing to record an out in the seventh.
Starter Scott Feldman only lasted five innings and gave up two runs on six hits and three walks.
"I don't like going five," Feldman said. "It's tough to see (the bullpen) getting abused."
The Nationals overcame a 5-3 deficit in the seventh. Rendon clubbed a leadoff shot over the wall in left. Jayson Werth walked and moved to third on LaRoche's base hit. Werth came home after Ryan Zimmerman grounded into a force out to tie the game.
Desmond doubled and Danny Espinosa was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out. Pinch-hitter McLouth's sac fly to the warning track in left gave Washington the lead.
"Guys got on base ahead of me and I brought one in," McLouth said on his pinch-hit RBI. "You just have to be ready."
Rafael Soriano tossed a scoreless ninth for his 15th save of the season.
In the first, Span hustled home on LaRoche's sac fly to left, giving the Nationals a 1-0 lead.
Werth took a leadoff walk in the third, stole second and came home on Desmond's RBI single to center.
The Astros loaded the bases off Gonzalez to start the fourth. Dominguez tied the game with a base hit into the left-field gap, Jason Castro doubled down the line in left to bring in another run, and Jonathan Villar drove in another with a sac fly to left for a 4-2 advantage.
Washington got within in one during the sixth. Span's liner over the head of George Springer in right brought home Espinosa, but Span got thrown out at third on the play to end the frame.
Robbie Grossman walked to lead off the seventh, moved to third on Altuve's single and scored on Ross Detwiler's wild pitch with two outs. Springer walked and Detwiler plunked Jonathan Singleton to load the bases, but the runners were left stranded after Dominguez grounded into a force out.
Washington optioned left-handed reliever Xavier Cedeno to Triple-A Syracuse to make room for Gonzalez ... Grossman is in the midst of an 0-for-17 slump ... The Nationals improved to 32-2 when scoring four or more runs ... Rendon is 9- for-18 with two home runs and seven RBI against the Astros this season.