For 6 1/2 innings it looked like the Astros were going to do just enough to beat the Nationals, but in four batters, everything changed as Washington came back to beat Houston 6-3 in Viera.
Houston took a 3-2 lead on the Nationals in the top of the seventh on a two run, opposite field home run by Nate Freiman. John Ely took the mound for his second inning of work after pitching a scoreless sixth when the wheels fell off.
An infield single up the middle, followed by another between first and second base got the Nationals started. A slow chopper to third was relayed to second too slowly to get the runner and without the benefit of getting the ball out of the infield Ely was faced with a bases loaded, no out situation.
Micah Owings followed with a blast over the fence in right field for a grand slam and Washington turned a one run deficit into a three run lead in a matter of moments.
"I felt good, the stuff seemed to be there," Ely said. "Fastball location for the most part was very good. Would've liked to have not spun that change up up there that (Owings) hit out of the park but other than that, that's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes."
"Ely did a great job, we gave them six outs that inning," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "There were three ground balls that could very well have been three outs and we come in and hit. Instead it's bases loaded and nobody out."
Houston jumped out to an early lead in the first inning when Marwin Gonzalez celebrated his birthday with a towering leadoff home run to right field.
Washington responded with a solo home run in the bottom of the inning and another run in the second off a Steve Lombardozzi single.
Alex White got the start for Houston, going four innings and giving up those two runs.
"I thought he was pretty good," Porter said. "I talked with Castro after the game and he said the sinker was really moving, explosive life down in the zone. A good job against a good hitting ball club."
Houston returns to Kissimmee on Friday for a game against the Pirates. That game will be telecast on Comcast Sports Net Houston, starting with Pregame Live at 12:30.