Washington caught an early break here, because Houston starter Roy Oswalt was forced to leave the game after just 17 pitches. Oswalt had been battling some lower back pain, and on Saturday he'd received a cortisone shot in the sciatic nerve. But it couldn't help him this time around.
When Oswalt's No. 9 spot came up in the top of the second, Houston used its next pitcher -- Chad Paronto -- as a pinch-hitter.
So, with Oswalt out of the way, the Nats got the 0-0 tie out of the way. The third batter of the bottom of the second, Ronnie Belliard, golfed a two-run homer to left.
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