Fiers puts ‘Kai’-bosh on Nats

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The Astros have a 12-game lead in the American League West, with the second-place Angels still in action on Wednesday night. The Nationals are 13 1/3 games ahead of the second-place Marlins in the National League East.

Nationals starter Edwin Jackson (4-3) allowed two runs, three walks and six hits in six innings. Marisnick broke a 1-1 tie in the fifth when he took Jackson deep to left field.

It was still 2-1 in the eighth inning, until the Astros posted a four-spot. Stassi blasted a 442-foot homer off Matt Grace, and Bregman cranked a three-run shot off Shawn Kelley.

Stassi's deep solo home run

Near miss: Jose Altuve led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Josh Reddick to tie the game at 1. The fly to right-center had only a 27 percent hit probability, according to Statcast™, but center fielder Michael Taylor and right fielder Andrew Stevenson nearly collided as the ball appeared to carom off Stevenson’s glove and roll away, allowing Altuve to race to third base.

Altuve's triple to right-center

Jake rakes: Marisnick’s 15th homer of the season, a blast to left field to lead off the fifth, was the only barreled ball off Jackson, according to Statcast™. The ball had an exit velocity of 103.4 mph with a 36-degree launch angle and was projected to travel 393 feet. That was a cheap shot by Marisnick’s standards. Ten of his homers this year have traveled at least 400 feet.

Marisnick's monster solo jack

Nationals: In his second start since being activated from the disabled list, right-hander Stephen Strasburg (10-4, 3.24 ERA) will take the mound for Thursday’s 8:10 p.m. ET series finale in Houston. He gave up two runs in six innings with eight strikeouts against the Padres in his return.

Astros: Dallas Keuchel (11-2, 2.58 ERA) takes the mound for Thursday’s 7:10 p.m. CT series finale at Minute Maid Park. The lefty is 2-0 with a 0.66 ERA in his last two starts. In his last 13 2/3 innings, he’s allowed nine hits, three walks and one run (on a homer).

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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