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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 Game 5 meltdown yet another reminder why D.C. can't have nice things

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Nationals Game 5 meltdown yet another reminder why D.C. can't have nice things

On Thursday night, a Washington, D.C. pro sports team did something Washington, D.C. pro sports teams are very good at doing: fall short of making a league or championship game.

The Nationals' disastrous fifth inning against the Cubs in Game 5 of the National League Divisional Series was the beginning of the end, not to mention yet another in a long line of disappointing playoff results for Washington, D.C. sports teams.

You see, Washington, D.C. is the only city with at least three major pro sports teams to not have a single one make a conference or league championship game since 2000.

To make matters worse, Washington, D.C. sports teams have now lost 16 consecutive playoff games in which a win would've advanced the team to the conference or league championship. 

Think about that for a second. Four teams. Zero conference championship appearances since 1998. 

Here's the list.

Washington, D.C. sports fans are not greedy. We can't be. We've had some very good teams recently, with the type of talent, coaching and intangibles needed to win a championship. 

TRY THIS: 20 THINGS DC SPORTS FANS SHOULD BE HAPPY ABOUT. YES, HAPPY.

The last time a major Washington, D.C. pro sports team won a world championship was in 1992 when the Redskins won Super Bowl XXVI.  The last time a major Washington, D.C. pro sports team even made a conference championship game was in 1998, when the Capitals advanced to the Eastern Conference Final, defeating the Sabres to advance to the Stanley Cup Final.

Washington, D.C. isn't allowed to have nice sports things.

Sure, we have great players and great teams, but when the playoffs roll around, all the nice things go away. We aren't privy to plucky upstarts who run the table and we aren't privy to dominant teams that make long postseason runs.

Washington, D.C. will have its day, eventually. Sure it may only be a conference championship appearance, but for us, that's fine. We don't expect world championships. We just want something to get invested in.

Early playoff exits are rarely worth the investment.

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With contractual decisions looming, Nats missed chance at stress-free World Series run

With contractual decisions looming, Nats missed chance at stress-free World Series run

"This is the year."

That's the motto for almost every D.C. sports fan when their team is headed for the postseason.

The Nats led a weak NL East the entire season and clinched a spot to play October baseball early into September.

RELATED: COUNTLESS ERRORS DOOM NATIONALS IN SEASON-ENDING LOSS

The team overcame the obstacle of being plagued with injuries and with pitchers like Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer having a strong bullpen to back them up, the stars were aligning for the team to go all the way.

But now with players like Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy having contracts up for grabs in 2019, Nationals reporter Chelsea Janes says 2017 was really the last chance for the team to win a stress-free title.

"I think those questions you've raised like Bryce [Harper's] contract, [Daniel} Murphy may be leaving, you know Rizzo's contract's up after next year, I think those are the things they didn't have to deal with this year that made this such a free chance," Janes said on the Sports Junkies Friday.

"It was a free chance to just feel good and do it now and not have everyone say this is your absolute last chance, and next year it's their absolute last chance for a little while, I think."

"I mean they're not going to be awful in '19, but they're going to be different and I think they've sort of wasted their free pass here and there's legitimate and kind of unrelenting pressure on them next year to make it happen."

It's hard to make sense of what a team will look like one day after a devastating series loss. One thing that is fairly certain is that time is ticking for the Nats to make it happen with arguably the most talented group of players they've ever had.