Nationals Report

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SEEN AND HEARD AT MINUTE MAID PARK

HOUSTON — Tal’s Hill, an actual hill that leads up to the center-field fence and features a flagpole, is nothing more than an eyesore in an otherwise quality park, according to Nationals outfielder Austin Kearns.

I think it’s stupid that it’s there, Kearns said. I don’t know why they put it there. Other than that, it’s a great park, and I always enjoy coming here.

The hill was named after club president Tal Smith and has been a part of the Minute Maid experience since the park opened in 2000. It takes a blast even to reach the hill, which is 436 feet to dead-center field.

QUOTABLE

I am worried about winning ballgames, not hurricanes.

— Nationals manager Manny Acta on the possibility of Hurricane Dean hitting Houston

BY THE NUMBERS

2Times the Nationals had scored at least five runs in their last 13 games before last night. The team is 16-2 since July 4 when it scores five or more runs.

TONIGHT’S GAME

Nationals RHP Joel Hanrahan (2-1, 2.95) vs. Astros LHP Wandy Rodriguez (7-11, 4.31), 8:05 p.m., MASN2, AM-1500, FM-107.7.

Brian Simmons

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