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5/29 Recap: 7th inning relief dooms Cards in 10-2 loss to Nationals

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The Cardinals played a close game in their series finale with Washington... and then the bottom half of the 7th happened (with an exclamation point in the bottom of the 8th).

I wonder what was being said here.
I wonder what was being said here.
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Previously on VEB recaps: IHeartBoog recapped yesterday's 9-4 Redbird victory.

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Starting pitchers: Michael Wacha (2-5, 5.04 ERA heading into Sunday) vs. Stephen Strasburg (8-0, 2.79)

Their last starts: Wacha went just four innings in his start against the Cubs on Tuesday, while Strasburg threw 6 2/3 against the Mets. Strasburg earned his eighth victory of the '16 season against New York, allowing two runs on four hits.

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Starting lineups:

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The recap:

In case you needed a reminder, the St. Louis Cardinals remain average. Through the top half of the 7th inning, the visiting Redbirds hung in there against Stephen Strasburg and Co. Strasburg exited the game after six innings and 104 pitches, having allowed one run on six hits, while walking two Cardinals and striking out four.

Apart from a three-run 4th inning, Michael Wacha had an otherwise decent outing himself, allowing those runs on four hits with one walk and six strikeouts; the righty starter threw 86 pitches.

The momentum appeared to be shifting back towards St. Louis after Matt Adams hit a sacrifice fly off of lefty reliever Oliver Perez, narrowing the Nats' lead to 3-2, but then Jonathan Broxton appeared in the bottom of the 7th, leading towards the beginning of the end. [Remaining thoughts on the matter have been redacted for professional reasons]

A Danny Espinosa solo home run and Jayson Werth grand slam were the keys behind Washington's five-run frame, in which Broxton and Dean Kiekhefer were on the mound for St. Louis.

The Nationals added on with a two-run longball from Wilson Ramos in the 8th.

With the loss, the Cardinals falls to 26-25, while sporting a 13-10 road record.

The Redbirds have a 9-19 win-loss total against teams with winning records (Cubs 2-4, Dodgers 1-2, Phillies 3-1, Pirates 1-5, Nationals 2-5).

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Scoring plays:

Top 4: Brandon Moss solo home run -- STL 1, WSH 0

Bot 4: Bryce Harper single, scoring Michael Taylor; Ramos single, scoring Harper and Ryan Zimmerman -- WSH 3, STL 1

Top 7: Matt Adams sac fly, scoring Aledmys Diaz -- WSH 3, STL 2

Bot 7: Anthony Rendon solo home run; Werth grand slam -- WSH 8, STL 2

Bot 8: Ramos two-run home run, scoring Rendon -- WSH 10, STL 2

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Game links: box score / play-by-play

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What's on deck: The Cardinals travel to Milwaukee for a three-game set. The Memorial Day contest pits Carlos Martinez (4-5, 4.25 ERA) against 31-year-old rookie right-hander Junior Guerra (3-0, 3.30). Tomorrow will be Guerra's first-ever start against St. Louis, as well as the Cardinals' first series against the Brewers (edit: in Milwaukee) in 2016.

The game is set to start at 2:10 PM Eastern / 1:10 PM Central.