Monday’s Game Report: Cardinals 8, Nationals 6

Monday’s Game Report: Cardinals 8, Nationals 6

By Rob Rains

By the time the Nationals reached their 12th batter of the game on Monday, Jack Flaherty had allowed eight hits and the Cardinals trailed 5-0. It was the second inning, and two of the five outs he had recorded came on an outfielder throwing out a runner on the bases.

The odds that he would still be on the mound at the start of the seventh inning, pitching with a lead, probably weren’t all that great.

Flaherty was able to do that, however, after he settled down and the offense battled back, led by back-to-back homers from Brendan Donovan and Paul Goldschmidt, and the Cardinals rallied for their biggest comeback win of the season in the opener of a three-game series in Washington, D.C.

Jordan Hicks, pitching for the third consecutive day, closed out the win – the Cardinals’ third victory in a row – their longest winning streak in more than a month.

Here is how Monday’s game broke down:

At the plate: The Cardinals’ comeback began with two runs in the third on an RBI triple from Tommy Edman and a single from Goldschmidt. They took the lead with four runs in the fifth. Paul DeJong doubled and Edman singled in front of a three-run homer by Donovan that tied the game. Goldschmidt followed with his 13th homer of the year to give the Cardinals the lead … RBI singles from Nolan Arenado and Willson Contreras, following two walks, produced the final two runs in the eighth … The Cardinals were 5-of-8 with runners in scoring position, an area where they have struggled all season … Edman reached base four times on two hits and two walks and scored three runs out of the ninth spot in the batting order.

On the mound: After his rough first two innings, Flaherty allowed only two hits from the third through the sixth innings, retiring 13 of 14 batters in one stretch. He left after a walk and hit batter with one out in the seventh, which led to the last Washington run … Giovanny Gallegos got three groundball outs in the eighth and Hicks, who had not earned a save since 2019 before Saturday, got his third in as many days, allowing only an infield single in the ninth.

Key stat: Jordan Walker went 2-of-4 with a pair of singles while serving as the DH, extending his hitting streak to 12 games. He has two 12-game streaks in the first 36 games of his career and since coming back up from Memphis has gone 19-of-56, a .339 average, with four home runs in 16 games.

Worth noting: Lars Nootbaar was activated from the injured list before the game. Luken Baker was optioned to Memphis … The Cardinals will take a small taxi squad with them on their trip to London later this week but who those players will be has not been finalized … Nolan Gorman was the only Cardinal who failed to reach base, going 0-of-4. He is just 3-of-48 in his 14 games, 12 starts, with 25 strikeouts since June 4 … The Cardinals’ starters have allowed at least one run in the first inning in each of their last six games … The team’s previous largest comeback of the season had been four runs, rallying from a 6-2 deficit for a 9-6 win on April 11 at Colorado … Injured reliever Packy Naughton will undergo surgery on his flexor tendon next week and will miss the rest of the season.

Looking ahead: Jordan Montgomery will get the start on Tuesday night in the second game of the series. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. St. Louis time.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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For the latest news and features in St. Louis Sports check out Rob Rains, Editor.