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WASHINGTON -- Tuesday night's game against the Nationals marked Astros manager Bo Porter's first trip to Nationals Park since Game 5 of the 2012 National League Division Series, when the Cardinals beat the Nats, 9-7, to end Washington's season. Porter was finishing his second season as the Nationals' third-base coach and had already accepted the job in Houston.

"It's always nice to come back to a place in which you know a lot of people," Porter said. "We had some really good times here. Two-thousand twelve was a special season. We had the best record in baseball (98-64). It didn't end the way we all wanted to in the end, but all in all I have a lot of great friends here. It's a great place to play baseball, and I'm excited to be back with our ballclub, and we're playing well as well."

Porter was seen by some as a prime candidate to take over for former Washington manager Davey Johnson, who wound up retiring after the 2013 season. For Porter, the chance to manage in his hometown of Houston was too good to pass up. Even when the Nationals' season ended, Porter was too bummed out to focus on his coming job.

"Game 5 of the NLDS was probably the lowest moment of my life," Porter said. "It's the last time I was in this ballpark. At that moment, I think there were tears, there was frustration, there was sadness. We had just lost Game 5, and we felt like we had a world championship-caliber team."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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