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Cardinals Rally for Six Runs in the Fifth, Defeat Nationals 6-3

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MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Nationals put up a three spot against Michael Wacha in the second inning, and the Cardinals were hitless through the first three innings of Monday’s ballgame in Washington. Nationals lefty Patrick Corbin appeared to be well on his way to his sixth quality start of the season. But a trip around the St. Louis batting order in the fifth, however, resulted in six Cardinals runs and a 6-3 win for the visiting red team.

With their 18th win of the season, the 2019 Cardinals are the first team in franchise history to reach that many victories by April 29. Meanwhile, the Nationals have lost seven of their last 10 games and are just 1-9 in series openers.

Harrison Bader got the inning started with his third home run of the season and with two outs, Matt Carpenter drew a walk. Paul Goldschmidt singled, then Paul DeJong walked to put Corbin in a bases-loaded jam. A wild pitch scored Carpenter, and Marcell Ozuna followed with a two-run single up the middle to put St. Louis up, 4-3. Jose Martinez doubled in Ozuna, and Martinez scored on Yadier Molina’s base hit to account for the Cardinals’ sixth run. For Molina, it extended his hitting streak to 16 games.

The Nationals pulled Corbin after the fifth inning and went with three relievers to get through the rest of the game. Washington’s bullpen looked sharp. Justin Miller worked the sixth and seventh innings, Wander Suero pitched the eighth, and Matt Grace logged the ninth. But the Cardinals’ pitching staff was just as good.

Other than the three-run second inning, Wacha pitched well in his first start back from the injured list. Wacha struck out five batters in his five innings of work, capped up with a 1-2-3 fifth to hold up on his end of the Cardinals’ rally. The Cardinals got two clean innings out of Giovanny Gallegos, and John Brebbia pitched the eighth. Brebbia walked Juan Soto, Matt Adams, and Carter Kieboom to load the bases but got out of the hole with no damage to speak of. Jordan Hicks locked down the ninth for his ninth save.

The first out of the seventh inning was made possible by Mr. Bader:

The Cardinals and Nationals will meet again on Tuesday at Nationals Park around 6:05 PM. Anibal Sanchez will go for Washington, and St. Louis will send Adam Wainwright to the mound.