Minus stars, Nats still show power against Astros

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“There were four shortstops out there,” Detwiler said. “I can induce contact and know there’s going to be an out made.”

Craig Stammen, Drew Storen and Collin Balester each worked a scoreless inning for the Nationals.

Morse led off the second with his 13th home run.

Washington scored four times in the sixth off Nelson Figueroa (5-4) when Morse hit a two-run double and Bernadina hit his 11th homer of the year. Morse has five hits in six at-bats against Figueroa.

“That’s enough for you to not want to pitch to a guy like that,” Figueroa said. “I was cruising along there for a little while and just ran into a rut.”

Espinosa hit his sixth homer, a two-run shot, his second in as many days, in the seventh.

Jeff Keppinger had three hits for Houston, losers of three in a row for the first time since early August.

The Astros scored in the first when Jason Bourgeois led off with a single, stole second and Keppinger doubled.

A single by Keppinger set up Hunter Pence’s infield hit for Houston’s other run in the fifth.

Notes: Pence returned to the lineup after missing two games with a right hip flexor. … Houston OF Michael Bourn missed his fifth game with a strained right oblique. … Keppinger played his 40th consecutive errorless game at 2B. … Atlanta RHP Tim Hudson will pitch against Washington on Friday night. He’s 10-1 with a 1.49 ERA when facing the Nationals.

 

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