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Sep 4, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Nationals pitcher Rafael Soriano (29) celebrates pitching the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Nationals defeated the Phillies 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Soriano Struggles in 7-4 Loss to Astros

The Houston Astros scored five runs off of Rafael Soriano as they beat the Washington Nationals at Space Coast Stadium Monday night.

Gio Gonzalez got the start for the Nationals and got off to a hot start in his second start of the spring. The left-hander struck out the first five batters he faced and appeared to be well on his way to pitching the best game by a Nationals pitcher this spring. But the wheels fell off after the fifth strikeout, and Gonzalez struggled mightily to get the third out of the second inning.

Gonzalez gave up an infield single to George Springer, before Carlos Corporan  hit a two-run homer to give Houston a 2-1 lead. While those two runs were the only ones surrendered by Gonzalez, his rough second inning drove his pitch count to 49 and his night was over after two innings of work.

It remained a one-run game until the top of the sixth inning, when the Astros had some fun with the bat against Soriano. The Nationals’ closer lasted just two-thirds of an inning while allowing five hits and five runs, with the biggest damage coming from a three-run double off the bat of Jonathan Villar.

The Nationals would cut Houston’s lead over the next two innings on a home run by Steven Souza in the sixth, and an RBI single by Jhonatan Solano in the seventh, making it a 7-4 game. Washington scored their fourth and final run in the bottom of the ninth on an RBI ground out by Theo Bowe which scored Tyler Moore from third.

That was all the offense the home team would get however, and the Astros took this one 7-4.

The Nationals will continue their Grapefruit League schedule tomorrow afternoon against C.C. Sabathia and the New York Yankees. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m., and the game will air live on MASN, and delayed on MLB.TV.

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Tags: Washington Nationals

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