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Nats win on wild night in Houston

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Nats win on wild night in Houston

HOUSTON (AP) -- Roger Bernadina scored when Houston made two errors on the same play in the 11th inning and the Washington Nationals picked up their third straight win, 5-4 over the Astros on Monday night.

Ryan Zimmerman had two hits and two RBIs, and Michael Morse added two hits for Washington.

Wilton Lopez (3-1) pitched a perfect 10th inning but Bernadina led off the 11th with a single. On Kurt Suzuki's bunt attempt, Brett Wallace and Lopez collided before Wallace threw the ball past first base and down the right field line. Right fielder Brian Bogusevic's throw home was too high, allowing Bernadina to score and give the Nationals a 5-4 lead.

Craig Stammen (5-1) pitched a perfect 10th and got a scare in the 11th when Chris Snyder just missed a home run down the left field line before striking out. Bogusevic walked and stole second but Jose Altuve grounded out to end the game.

Tyler Clippard hit Carlos Corporan with a pitch and walked Bogusevic with one out in the ninth before Altuve doubled to tie the game at 4. Clippard struck out Marwin Gonzalez and Wallace to send the game to extra innings.

Edwin Jackson went 5 1-3 innings for the Nationals, giving up two runs and two hits with eight strikeouts. Jackson did not allow a hit after the first inning and walked two the rest of the way.

Houston's Dallas Keuchel allowed four runs -- three earned -- and a career-high 12 hits with two strikeouts in six innings. Keuchel has allowed at least four runs in each of his five losses and has given up 30 runs -- 26 earned -- over his last 25 innings.

Washington took a 4-1 lead in the fifth on a two-run single by Zimmerman followed by a run-scoring single by Morse.

Jackson led off the inning with a single, and Espinosa followed with a single. Bryce Harper walked to load the bases before Zimmerman's single. Zimmerman was thrown out trying to go to second.

After giving up three singles in the first three innings, Keuchel got into trouble in the fourth, allowing consecutive singles to Zimmerman and Morse to start the inning before Adam LaRoche tied the game at 1 with an RBI single.

Morse extended his hitting streak to 15 games.

Altuve walk to lead off the sixth and stole second before moving to third on a groundout. Altuve scored on Wallace's sacrifice fly off Tom Gorzelanny.

After Justin Maxwell tripled, pinch-hitter Steve Pearce cut the lead to 4-3 with an RBI single.

Gonzalez gave Houston a 1-0 lead in the first with second home run of the season.

NOTES: Washington claimed IF Cesar Izturis off waivers from Milwaukee on Monday. . The Nationals placed IF Mark DeRosa on the 15-day DL, retroactive to Sunday. . Washington designated LHP Atahualpa Severino for assignment. . The Nationals agreed to terms on professional contracts with four international free agents: RHP Ramses Rosario and OFs Aldrem Corredor, Darryl Florentino and Luis Guzman. . Astros C Jason Castro (right knee) continued his rehab assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City on Monday night. . The attendance for the game was a season-low 13,843. ... RHP Jordan Lyles, who is 2-8 with a 5.95 ERA, will start Tuesday's game for Houston, while Washington will start LHP Ross Detwiler, who is 6-4 with a 3.02 ERA this season.

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Nationals' Bryce Harper mashes monster homer on second pitch of spring training

Nationals' Bryce Harper mashes monster homer on second pitch of spring training

The Nationals played their first game of spring training today against the Mets. They won, but that's not nearly the biggest story of the day. It was Bryce Harper's first at-bat that stole the show. 

On just the second pitch he saw of spring training, from lefty Sean Gilmartin, Harper mashed a ginormous home run to right center field. MLB.com shared video of the bomb. 

According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Harper smacked the ball at least 400 feet. In his second at-bat, he hit a line-drive single on the first pitch. 

Let's just say it was an exciting start to the year for Harper, who won the 2015 NL MVP only to endure a let-down last season. As Castillo points out, the slugger hit .226 against left-handed pitchers in 2016. 

Harper enters spring training at 230 pounds, up 15 pounds of muscle from last year. 

“I just felt going into the offseason you want to get as strong as you can, try to maintain your weight the best you can and just do everything the right way,” he told the Post. 

MORE NATIONALS: Baker thinks DC sports teams can win a championship this year

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Nationals' Dusty Baker thinks Washington teams are positioned to win a championship this year

Nationals' Dusty Baker thinks Washington teams are positioned to win a championship this year

Nationals manager Dusty Baker is back for a second year and feeling optimistic for his Washington team. Spring training has begun in Florida and it has Baker thinking about how the Nats can create some excitement for local sports fans.

In an interview with American University’s WAMU radio station, Baker said D.C. wants to be a "city of champions.” Furthermore, he thinks it can be pulled off before the year ends.

"I came here to win a championship and you know I would love nothing more than to bring one to Washington. Washington, I didn’t know it before I got there, but it’s had a tough time getting out of the first round in a number of sports."

He projected the Nationals to bring home the next championship for the District, but he knows they have competition of late. 

"Washington Wizards are looking pretty good. I’m pulling for them first because their season ends before ours, so I’ve been really following them. The Capitals have a good thing going. I started watching the Redskins more this year.

"You know once it gets contagious in a city and you get a positive attitude throughout the city, then it transfers to the sports teams. So we want to be known as a city of champions, before the end of the year hopefully."

Baker has a reputation for bringing out the best in his teams, especially managing star players. He managed the San Francisco Giants for ten seasons before moving on to the Chicago Cubs, a team he managed for four seasons.

He's never won a World Series, but has taken a team to Game 7. He also finished third for the 2016 National League Manager of the Year award.

So, what are Baker’s steps for the Nationals to get that ultimate prize? A simple formula, really.

"I think that we’ve got to stay healthy, number one. We’re trying to fill the holes that we need to fill, and we’ve got to play," he said. "You know last year we were very close, we were one hit away or one play away or one pitch away from going to the next round against the Cubs."

While he says he came to win Washington a championship, he's also enjoying his time in the city. 

"I love D.C. Before that, San Francisco was my favorite town; that’s my home. But I tell you, D.C. is definitely in the running," he said. "I thought San Francisco had the best seafood, but man, you guys have the best seafood I think in the world."

Thanks, Dusty!

The Nationals play their first spring training game against the New York mets on Saturday.

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