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USATSI

The Houston Astros extended their winning streak to 11 games on Friday night with a 6-1 victory against the Washington Nationals (box score). Houston is now tied with the New York Yankees for the longest winning streak in Major League Baseball this season. No other team has had a winning streak reach past seven yet.

The win also served as the 2,009th of Dusty Baker’s managerial career, surpassing Leo Durocher for 10th all-time:

The Astros jumped on the Nationals early, plating five runs in the top of the first inning. Jose Altuve opened the scoring with a solo home run, and from there Houston was off to the races. Alex Bregman and Yordan Alvarez both plated runs with base hits before Yuli Gurriel pushed Houston’s lead to 5-0 with a two-run home run. Alvarez later delivered a home run of his own to give the Astros an insurmountable 6-0 lead.

Houston lefty Framber Valdez surrendered a run on seven hits and two walks. He struck out six batters. The Astros received 1 ⅓ shutout innings of relief from Rafael Montero and Ryan Pressly.

The Astros will attempt to stretch their winning streak to 12 on Saturday night as part of their three-game weekend set against the Nationals. Afterwards, Houston will wrap up its nine-game road trip with three in Boston against the Red Sox.

Coincidentally, the longest winning streak in Astros franchise history is 12, a number they’ve achieved three times. The most recent occasion came in June 2018, but the Astros also won a dozen consecutive in 2004 and 1999. At minimum, this will go down as the fourth time the Astros have won 11 games in a row; they accomplished the feat last summer, too, when they pulled off 11 consecutive in June.

The Astros’ victory ensures they’ll enter Saturday with sole possession of first place in the American League West.

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