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The Houston Astros enjoyed a get-well game with one of the top pitchers in the big leagues in action for the first time this season.

Now it's a matter of carrying those good vibes into another game.

After Justin Verlander logged six innings in the series opener Friday, giving up two runs on four hits, the Astros will visit the Washington Nationals on Saturday for the middle contest of a three-game set.

This weekend marks the celebration of the Nationals' conquering of the Astros in the World Series five years ago. That began with Friday night's game -- a 5-3 win by Houston -- and more activities are coming across the next couple of days.

Don't expect the Astros to pay much attention.

"We have way more important things that we need to focus on right now," manager Joe Espada said.

Meanwhile, the Nationals displayed their frustration when manager Dave Martinez was ejected Friday night for arguing. He was livid because obstruction wasn't called when a Washington runner was called out at second base.

Aside from Verlander's effort -- he had four strikeouts and no walks in his six innings -- that sequence turned into a main topic of conversation for Martinez after the game. And don't rule out him offering a reminder to the umpiring crew this weekend of his opinion on the topic.

"I don't know if they knew what I was arguing," Martinez said. "I won't argue a review. But the fact of the matter is they can sit down and get together and see. The fact that they can see it is brutal. I mean, (Ildemaro) Vargas almost broke his hand. The guy was blocking the base. That's obstruction to me. I hope they look at the video and understand that that's obstruction."

The Nationals will go with right-hander Trevor Williams (2-0, 3.45 ERA) as their starting pitcher for Saturday's game. He has lasted at least five innings in his first three starts, including in Sunday's no-decision at Oakland.

Williams, who hasn't surrendered a home run in 15 2/3 innings this season, is 0-2 with a 4.85 ERA in three career matchups with the Astros.

Espada said having Verlander set the tone for the rotation should be a good thing for a team looking to shake a frustrating opening month.

Right-hander Ronel Blanco (2-0, 0.86 ERA) will start for the Astros on Saturday. He didn't give up a run in his first two outings, then yielded two runs in six innings in a no-decision last Saturday against the Texas Rangers.

Blanco, who has never faced the Nationals, has been hindered by walks, issuing nine across his 21 total innings.

The Nationals were feeling good after going 5-4 on a West Coast trip. They don't want the good parts of that to fade, so getting back on track is important going to Saturday.

"We had a chance there at the end," Washington starting pitcher MacKenzie Gore said about Friday's game. "Got to come in here and win a game (Saturday)."

Nationals catcher Riley Adams homered off Verlander and has provided some spunk at the plate at certain times. He has homered twice this year.

"I feel like I'm continuing to try to get comfortable," Adams said. "Trying to build upon some of the good stuff that happened last year."

--Field Level Media

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