Thru 6: Walking their way to the lead

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The Nationals were down 5-2 going into the sixth inning. Now, almost solely through the generosity of Houston’s pitchers, they lead 8-5. Washington scored six runs in the sixth, storming back in the same inning it did last night. But this time, the Nats only had two hits.

Most of the work was done by Houston reliever Chris Sampson. He came in after Roy Oswalt walked Nick Johnson and left the game. Sampson gave up a hit to Ryan Zimmerman, got Adam Dunn to ground out, then proceeded to walk four of the next five batters. The Nationals scored three runs off the walks, then another when Nick Johnson got hit in the helmet with a pitch (he’s fine, by the way).

Not a great day for Scott Olsen, who left after the fifth. His control wasn’t nearly as sharp as it was in his last outing in Philadelphia, and he gave up four runs in the fifth after Geoff Blum singled and Oswalt reached safely on a sacrifice bunt-turned-fielder’s choice when the Nats couldn’t get Blum at second. Michael Bourn drove in two with a double (Bourn, by the way, looks like he’ll be a dangerous leadoff hitter for the Astros).

Zimmerman, of course, extended his hitting streak to 23 games with the single in the sixth inning. He also drove in his 19th run of the streak.

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