Carlos Lee

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Houston Astros set a franchise record by hitting three triples in a five-run first inning, backing starter Bud Norris with a season-high 17 hits on the way to an 11-4 victory

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For the third time in four series so far this season, the Nationals have an opportunity to sweep their opponents. Stop and think about that for a moment. Pretty remarkable.

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Uh-oh, that's not an encouraging sight: The tarp is covering the infield here at Nationals Park, and the forecast is calling for rain showers throughout the afternoon and evening.

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Brad Lidge has been through the wringer enough times over the years -- shoot, he's got 225 career saves, not to mention 44 career blown saves -- to know how to handle a little ninth-inning ral

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The Nationals faced only one left-handed starter in their first 11 games, Mets ace Johan Santana, so Davey Johnson hasn't had much reason to consider platoons and lefty-righty matchups.

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