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Cardinals overcome slow start, slug their way to 8-6 win over Nats

That’s three wins in a row for the Cardinals.

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

The St. Louis Cardinals have a chance to use their two out of three in New York as a springboard for better play, with series against the National and Cubs up next. Jack Flaherty got roughed up in his last start against the Giants, but before that had been more or less rock solid in his previous four outings. Flaherty was in search of a bounce-back Monday afternoon against the Nats, but they got to him early in the nation’s capital. That didn’t stop him from pitching deep into this game, however.

Here are the lineups Monday, featuring Lars Nootbaar for the first time since May 29:


  1. Brendan Donovan, LF
  2. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  3. Lars Nootbaar, RF
  4. Nolan Arenado, 3B
  5. Willson Contreras, C
  6. Jordan Walker, DH
  7. Nolan Gorman, 2B
  8. Paul DeJong, SS
  9. Tommy Edman, CF

Jack Flaherty, SP


  1. Lane Thomas, RF
  2. Luis Garcia, 2B
  3. Jeimer Candelario, 3B
  4. Joey Meneses, DH
  5. Keibert Ruiz, C
  6. Corey Dickerson, LF
  7. Dominic Smith, 1B
  8. Victor Robles, CF
  9. CJ Abrams, SS

Josiah Gray - SP

In very un-Cardinals like fashion, St. Louis rallied back from an early 5-0 deficit and slugged their way to an 8-6 win in D.C. — their third win in a row! Brendan Donovan and Paul Goldschmidt went back-to-back in a pivotal fifth inning, but Tommy Edman also had a great day, reaching base four times and scoring three runs out of the nine-hole. Jordan Hicks earned his third save in three days.

Here’s how it went down:

1st Inning

The Cardinals did nothing in the first inning against Josiah Gray, and were also the subject of a few close strike calls that could’ve gone either way. Brendan Donovan led off and was called out on strikes on a backup slider that didn’t quite get back into the zone.

Goldschmidt grounded out to second base for the second out, and Lars Nootbaar struck out swinging at a curveball that bounced on home plate.

The Nationals are 23rd in baseball with their 4.14 runs per game, and jumped all over Jack Flaherty in the first inning for three runs on five hits. Former Cardinal Lane Thomas yanked a double down the third base line leading off the game. Thomas moved up to third on a wild pitch from Flaherty, and then scored on a sac fly from Luis Garcia to make it 1-0 Nats.

Canelario singled to center with one out, and Meneses copied Thomas with a double pulled down the third base line, putting two runners in scoring position with one out. Keibert Ruiz struck out looking for the second out, but another former Cardinal — Corey Dickerson — drove in both with a two-out single to right field. Dickerson’s base knock made it 3-0 Nationals in the bottom of the first.

Dom Smith ripped the Nationals’ fifth hit of the inning into right field, a line drive single. But Dickerson tried to go first to third on the play, and was thrown out at third base by Nootbaar to end the inning.

2nd Inning

Arenado led off the top of the second and continued to see the ball well, working a seven-pitch walk. Contreras got jammed and hit a soft ground ball to Abrams, and grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. Jordan Walker swung at the first pitch he saw and hit a 106 mph ground ball right back up the middle for a hit, extending his hitting streak to 12 games. Gorman struck out swinging to end the top half of the frame.

Washington got back to it in the second inning, scoring off Flaherty two more times. Victor Robles flew out to right field to strart the inning. Flaherty got ahead of Abrams 1-2, but Abrams was able to battle back and hit a ground ball single to right field. Lane Thomas followed with his second double in two innings — this time it bounced off the left field wall and missed being a two-run homer by a few feet — with Abrams stopping at third base.

Luis Garcia stepped in and stroked a line drive base hit to left field, scoring both runners to put Washington up 5-0 in the second inning. Donovan ran the ball down in the gap and threw out Garcia at second base, who overslid the bag and was tagged on the chest as he went by.

With two outs, Candelario hit a sinking line drive to center field that looked destined to be the ninth hit of the afternoon for Washington, but Edman dove forward and snagged it before it got to the grass.

Flaherty threw 45 pitches through the first two innings.

3rd Inning

DeJong led off the third and, despite getting jammed, was able to fist a 1-1 slider from Gray into center for a leadoff hit. Edman followed and hit a deep fly ball to the warning track in dead center field. Robles ran backwards, dove, and got his glove on the ball, but was unable to make the catch. It bounced off his glove, off the wall, and back towards the grass for an RBI triple, scoring DeJong. It was Tommy’s third triple of the season.

Donovan flew out to shallow left field for the first out of the inning. Goldschmidt hit a 107 mph single up the middle to score Edman and make it 5-2 Nationals, with one out.

The top of the third ended when Nootbaar hit a sharp line drive towards Dominic Smith at first. Smith reached up, snagged it, and stepped on first to double off Goldschmidt.

Jack worked his first 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the third. Meneses was called out on strikes, Ruiz flew out to center, and Dickerson grounded out to second.

4th Inning

Arenado groudned out to short, Contreras struck out swinging, and Walker broke things up with a soft fly ball single into the right-center gap. Gorman flew out to Lane Thomas in right field for out number three.

Jack pitched a scoreless bottom of the fourth on six pitches. Dom Smith lined out to second base and Robles played pepper with the third base line, running out a one-out double. Abrams then did what Nootbaar did earlier, ripping a 110 mph line drive directly at Paul Goldschmidt, who caught it and then turned and picked Robles off of second base for an inning-ending double play.

5th Inning

Like the Nationals had already done three times today, DeJong led off the fifth inning with a double pulled right down the third base line. Edman waged a seven-pitch battle with Gray with nobody out, and eventually blooped a single into right field, in front of Thomas. DeJong stopped at third base.

Brendan Donovan came through in a big way, clobbering Gray’s 1-0 fastball just over the wall in right field for a game-tying three-run homer. It was Donny’s seventh homer of the season, came off the bat at 103 mph, and tied the game 5-5.

Goldschmidt continued the Cardinals’ barrage of tough at-bats against Gray. The reigning MVP fell behind 1-2, worked it back to 2-2, and then crushed a hanging curveball 406 feet into the left field seats for a go-ahead homer. Roundtripper number 13 for Goldy made it 6-5 St. Louis in the top of the fifth.

After a mound visit, Gray struck out Nootbaar and Arenado, and then got Contreras to ground out to third base to end the top of the fifth.

Flaherty, now pitching with a lead, returned for the fifth and put up his third straight scoreless inning after a horrendous start to the game. He struck out Thomas and got Garcia to fly out to left field. Candelario singled to right field, but Meneses struck out hacking at a 94 mph fastball.

Gray’s final line: 5 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 6 K’s (102 pitches)

6th Inning

Right-hander Jordan Weems was the second pitcher in the game for Washington, replacing Gray. He pitched a scoreless sixth in his eighth appearance of the year — Walker struck out, Gorman flew out to right field, and DeJong struck out.

Jack returned for the sixth inning with a managable pitch count, and put up a 1-2-3 inning. He threw six pitches, and got Ruiz, Dickerson, and Smith to all ground out. After throwing over 40 pitches through his first two innings, Flaherty was able to navigate six on just 83 pitches.

7th Inning

Right-handed reliever Carl Edwards Jr. jogged in for the seventh, the third Nats pitcher of the afternoon. He walked Edman to start the inning, followed by a lineout to second base by Donovan. Goldschmidt flew out to the warning track in right field for out number two, Nootbaar drew a two-out walk to advance Edman into scoring position for Arenado, and Arenado reached out and dropped a fly ball single down the right field line to drive him in and make it 7-5 St. Louis. Nootbaar advanced to third on the play.

Contreras mimicked Arenado, taking advantage of the Nationals’ deep outfield alingment with a shallow fly ball single off the end of the bat. It dropped in front of Robles in center, scoring Nootbaar to make it 8-5. Arenado went first to third on the play as well. Walker struck out looking to end the inning.

At just 83 pitches through six, Flaherty came out for the seventh — although he did not get through it. He struck out Robles with a neck-high, 95 mph fastball, but walked Abrams and hit Lane Thomas to bring the tying run to the plate with one out.

Oli Marmol went to the bullpen, bringing in the lefty Genesis Cabrera to face Luis Garcia. The Nationals pulled off a successful double steal to put both runners in scoring position, and Garcia brougt Thomas home with a groundout to make it 8-6. Candelario flew out to right field to end the seventh inning, with the Cardinals up 8-6.

Flaherty’s final line: 6.1 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 5 K’s (99 pitches)

8th Inning

Right-hander Chad Kuhl, formerly of the Pirates and Rockies, entered the game in the eighth for Washington. Gorman flew out to right field and DeJong popped out to shortstop for two outs, but then Kuhl walked Edman and Donovan back-to-back, putting two runners on for Goldschmidt. Goldy did not convert, flying out to right field to end the top half of the inning.

Giovany Gallegos entered the game in the bottom of the eighth, protecting a two-run lead. Gallegos threw 10 pitches — Meneses, Ruiz, and Dickerson all grounded out.

9th Inning

Right-hander Kyle Finnegan — the Nats’ primary closer — entered the game in the top of the ninth. He was the fifth Washington pitcher of the day, and got three outs on just five pitches. Nootbaar grounded out to second, Arenado flew out to center field, and Contreras popped out to Dom Smith in foul territory.

Jordan Hicks came in for the save in the bottom of the ninth, which was the third day in a row he had an opportunity for a save (he finished each of the last two games against the Mets). Smith and Robles each grounded out to Gorman at second base. Abrams hit a comebacker back to Hicks, and it deflected off his glove and rolled behind the mound for an infield hit. Hicks struck out Lane Thomas with a 104 mph sinker to secure the Cardinals third win in a row.

FINAL: Cardinals 8, Nationals 6

Up Next

The Cardinals (30-43) will play for their second consecutive series win, and fourth consecutive win overall, Tuesday night in D.C. against the Nationals (27-44). The last time the Cardinals won back-to-back series was last month, when the Cardinals took two of three from Milwaukee and three of four from the Dodgers from May 15-21. Jordan Montgomery (3-7, 3.91 ERA) will toe the rubber for the Cardinals. Fellow lefty Mackenzie Gore (3-5, 3.74 ERA) is set to pitch for the Nationals. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m.

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