Morton solid in four innings of work

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Houston made three errors on a third-inning single from Trea Turner, which ended up as a two-run, Little League home run. Turner singled to right field, moving Chris Heisey to third base. But Jake Marisnick overthrew third baseman Yulieski Gurriel, who made an errant throw to the plate, which was being backed up by the pitcher Charlie Morton, who also threw the ball away to allow Turner to come around to score.

Morton was effective despite the errors, including a stretch where he struck out five consecutive Nationals hitters, to make up most of his seven punchouts in four innings of two-run ball.

“I felt good out there today, the arm felt good, I thought I mixed in some good pitches,” said Morton, who made his fourth Grapefruit League start and is attempting to come back after missing nearly all of last season with surgery to his left hamstring.

Right-hander Joe Ross worked through some tough luck all day as the Nationals made a pair of errors behind him. He gave up four runs (two earned) in 4 2/3 innings on 76 pitches with three strikeouts and a walk. But a positive sign was the life and command of his changeup, the third pitch in his arsenal Ross is trying to develop and throw more frequently.

“It felt really good today,” Ross said. “I threw a good amount, especially in the third and fourth inning. A lot more consistent today, especially later in the game. But it felt good. It felt like I wasn’t forcing it.”

Nats infielder Grant Green tied the game with a solo home run in the seventh inning off Michael Feliz.

Astros second baseman Tyler White left the game after being hit on the right hand from a pitch by Ross. White is day-to-day, according to manager A.J. Hinch.

Astros Up Next: Right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. gets the start for a 12:05 p.m. CT Sunday game with the Yankees at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. He will be opposed by Yankees’ right-hander Adam Warren. The game can be seen on MLB.TV.

Nationals Up Next: Stephen Strasburg will continue his experiment with pitching exclusively from the stretch when the Nationals face the Marlins at 1:05 p.m. ET Sunday at Roger Dean Stadium. This will mark his fourth Grapefruit League start of the season for Strasburg, who has nine strikeouts in eight innings.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

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

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to

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

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