The Washington Nationals used four first inning runs to help Joe Ross in a 6-1 win over the Cardinals
This afternoon, the Washington Nationals sent Joe Ross to the mound for the first time since April 20 because of a blister on his right middle finger. While Ross got into jams, he was able to be efficient and hold the St. Louis Cardinals to one run. Plus, his offense helped him out with four in the first inning, which was the difference in what ended up being a 6-1 win.
With two outs in the first inning and runners on first and second, Daniel Murphy hit a single to center field against Jaime Garcia that drove in Anthony Rendon. Then, Jayson Werth followed that up by hitting a changeup over the wall in left for a three-run home run. Werth’s fourth home run of the season gave the Washington Nationals an early 4-0 lead.
Even though the Nats got to Garcia in the first inning, the Cardinals’ right-hander kept the lineup in check for most of the afternoon. He went 6.1 innings, gave up four runs on four hits, struck out six, and walked three on 96 pitches (59 strikes) in the loss.
As for Ross, he showed no rust in his return to the rotation. He went six innings, gave up one run on six hits, struck out four, and walked two on 93 pitches (56 strikes) in the win. After today, his ERA dropped to 0.79 in four outings. The Cardinals’ lone run of the game came in the bottom of the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Matt Carpenter, but Ross got Holliday to ground out to short with runners on first and second to hold it to the lone run.
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Then, Murphy drove in Harper with a base hit to center. Harper was able to score because Jeremy Hazelbaker could not field the ball cleanly. After Murphy, Werth picked up his fourth RBI of the day on a sacrifice fly to center (Hazelbaker made a diving catch) that drove in Zimmerman.
Next Game: The Washington Nationals (16-7) will go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon against the St. Louis Cardinals (12-12) at Busch Stadium. You can catch the game on MASN2 at 2:15 pm ET. Max Scherzer (2-1, 4.35 ERA) gets the start for the Nats against Carlos Martinez (4-0, 1.93) for the Cardinals.