The Astros answered the Nationals' three-run rally in the top of the ninth by loading the bases with one out in the bottom of the frame against Washington reliever Hunter Harvey (2-3). Harvey got Jake Meyers to tap a grounder to shortstop C.J. Abrams, who erased Kyle Tucker at home
But when Nationals catcher Keibert Ruiz attempted to erase Meyers at first, his throw clipped Meyers in the helmet and ricocheted into right field, allowing Abreu to score the winning tally
Trailing 4-1 entering the ninth, the Nationals fashioned an improbable rally against Astros closer Ryan Pressly. Their three-run frame was aided by a two-base throwing error from Alex Bregman that allowed Joey Meneses to reach leading off the inning. Pressly then allowed an RBI double to Corey Dickerson before later unleashing an errant throw home on a ground ball that enabled Dickerson to score the second run
One batter later, Dominic Smith drilled a game-tying RBI triple to the right-center-field gap that plated Ildemaro Vargas, who reached on the Pressly error. Pressly needed two nifty defensive plays from Abreu at first to strand pinch-runner Michael Chavis at third and preserve the tie.
Astros left-hander Framber Valdez recorded his fourth start with at least seven innings pitched and one or fewer earned runs allowed. He allowed one run on five hits with six strikeouts over seven innings and did not walk a batter
Valdez surrendered two singles in the first inning before retiring Ruiz on a sharp grounder to third that stranded Lane Thomas and Stone Garrett at the corners.
Valdez retired eight consecutive batters before Garrett notched his second single, this one with one out in the fourth inning. Valdez stranded Garrett at first base but did allow a leadoff double to Smith in the fifth, with Smith subsequently scoring on Abrams' grounder to Abreu at first.
Abreu delivered a two-run double with two outs in the first that spotted Valdez an early lead. Abreu drove home Jose Altuve and Tucker with his double to left field off Nationals right-hander Josiah Gray, who pitched effectively excluding another hiccup in the fourth
Gray retired eight consecutive batters after the Abreu double and before Abreu struck again with a solo home run to left that stretched the lead to 3-0. It was the fourth homer on the season for Abreu -- his first at home -- and gave Abreu his fifth multi-hit game in his last six starts.
One batter later, Yainer Diaz also produced his fourth home run, driving an 0-1 slider 404 feet and out to left-center.
--Field Level Media