Tuesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 3, Nationals 2
The Nationals used a traditional offensive approach to build a 2-0 lead against the Cardinals on Tuesday night in Washington, D.C., hitting back-to-back homers in the third inning.
It was a non-traditional offensive display which helped the Cardinals rally for the win.
With two outs and the bases loaded in the fourth inning, Kolten Wong stunned the Nationals by laying down a perfect bunt along the third-base line. It drove in a run, and when Harrison Bader followed with a two-run single, the Cardinals had all the runs they needed to win their fourth consecutive game.
The win allowed the Cardinals to tie their franchise record for their most wins in April, 18, set in 2008 and left them with a 19-10 record at the end of the first month of the season including their one victory in March. They were 18-7 in games played in April.
Adam Wainwright pitched into the seventh inning, and after allowing the two home runs, gave up just two more hits before turning the game over to the bullpen.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals loaded the bases in the fourth on a one-out walk to Paul DeJong, a two-out single by Jose Martinez and a walk to Yadier Molina before Wong’s bunt single … After Bader’s single, the Cardinals had only three more hits the rest of the game – a two-out double by DeJong in the fifth (his 14th of the season); a two-out single by Wong in the sixth and a two-out infield single by Tyler O’Neill in the ninth … Molina’s hitting streak came to an end after 16 games, matching the longest streak of his career … The Cardinals struck out 15 times, four of them by Matt Carpenter.
On the mound: After watching his teammates give him the lead in the top of the fourth, Wainwright needed only eight pitches to retire the Nationals in the bottom of the inning. He followed that with a nine-pitch fifth inning and getting the three outs in the sixth on only five pitches … Wainwright came out of the game after giving up a single and hitting a batter with one out in the seventh, but Tyler Webb got an inning-ending double play … John Gant worked the eighth and got the first out in the ninth before Andrew Miller relieved and got the final two outs to earn his first save with the Cardinals.
Key stat: Carpenter tied his career high by striking out four times, the sixth time in his career he had done that. Combined with three strikeous on Monday night, this was the first time in Carpenter’s career he struck out three or more times in consecutive games. Tuesday night was the 1,048th game Carpenter has played for the Cardinals.
Worth noting: This was the first time since Aug. 18. 2016 the Cardinals won a nine-inning game in which they struck out 15 or more times. They were 1-9 when striking out 15 or more times in nine innings since the start of the 2014 season before Tuesday night … The Cardinals improved to 5-2 this season in games in which they did not hit at least one home run … Dexter Fowler was unavailable Tuesday night after coming down with the flu.
Looking ahead: Mikes Mikolas will get the start on Wednesday night while St. Louis native Max Scherzer will start for the Nationals.