Washington Nationals: Power Shows Up Again in 6-1 Win over Cardinals
The Washington Nationals used three homers to score five of their six runs in a 6-1 series-sweeping victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Washington Nationals started backups Clint Robinson and Matt den Dekker on a possible series-sweeping Sunday in St. Louis, and sent Max Scherzer to the mound. All three choices made by manager Dusty Baker paid off in a big way today as the Nats beat the Cardinals 6-1 to secure the sweep.
Scherzer, Washington’s bonafide ace, had been struggling to begin the season (2-1 with a 4.35 ERA heading into Sunday) especially with the home run ball. It’s not that easy to fix a slump against a crafty Cardinals offense at Busch Stadium, but the veteran found a way. He went seven innings, gave up no runs on four hits, struck out nine, and walked no one on 105 pitches (73 strikes) in the win.
After working out of a single in the first inning, Scherzer struck out Randal Grichuk and Yadier Molina to begin the second inning. A comfortable Scherzer who is locating his pitches is daunting opponent for hitters and one the Nationals hadn’t seen in a couple games. He continued to roll along through the fifth inning, striking out five and surrendering only two hits up to that point. A single by Matt Holliday in the seventh didn’t go anywhere after a Brandon Moss flyout was Scherzer’s last pitch.
The Cardinals sent Carlos Martinez to the mound. Martinez was one of the hottest pitchers in all of baseball heading into this afternoon (4-0, 1.93 ERA heading into the day). The Nats offense struggled mightily, managing only one hit through five scoreless innings. However, a well-executed sixth inning seemed to wake up the bats. A Jose Lobaton opposite-field single allowed Scherzer to bunt him over to second. Matt den Dekker drove him in with a single to center for a 1-0 lead.
More from District on Deck
- Latest DraftKings Sportsbook Promo Code in Maryland: Bet $5, Win $200 Guaranteed
- Nationals Claim Jeter Downs Off Waivers
- Washington Nationals Minor League Spotlight: Robert Hassell III
- Washington Nationals Tuesday Q&A
- 3 Free Agents the Nationals Should Gamble On
In the seventh, Clint Robinson drove Jayson Werth in with a two-run shot to right-center (his first home run of the season). Danny Espinosa hit a solo bomb in the next at-bat to give Washington a 4-0 lead. Later on, Scherzer cracked a single that prompted Cardinals manager Mike Matheny to pull Martinez, who went 6.2 innings, gave up four runs on seven hits, struck out eight, and walked none on 87 pitches (66 strikes) in the win.
Anthony Rendon doubled off of Seung hwan Oh in the eighth, and Daniel Murphy drove him in with a double of his own left field for a 5-0 lead. Felipe Rivero relieved Scherzer in the eighth, and quickly retired the Cardinals in order. In the ninth, Washington scored its sixth run with a Chris Heisey two-out solo blast.
Next: The Nationals' April in Review
Moss hit a solo home run off of Blake Treinen in the ninth to give St. Louis its lone run of the day. That’s now two straight games Washington has allowed just one run and they allowed a total of six runs in the entire series.
What’s Next: The Washington Nationals (17-7) look for a four-game win streak starting tomorrow in Kansas City when they take on the defending champion Royals (12-11) at Kauffman Stadium. Gio Gonzalez (1-1, 1.42 ERA) will face Edinson Volquez (3-1, 3.34 ERA). You can catch the game on MASN at 8:15 PM ET.