Wacha pitches Cards to series win over Nationals

Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) – Michael Wacha outdueled Max Scherzer by
twirling seven outstanding innings, and Matt Adams singled in the deciding run
in the St. Louis Cardinals’ 4-1 win over the Washington Nationals.

Wacha (3-0) held Washington to a run on five hits and struck out six to win
his third consecutive start and lead the Cardinals to a seventh victory in
eight games.

Matt Carpenter and Jason Heyward each finished 2-for-4 for St. Louis, with
Heyward scoring the go-ahead run on Adams’ two-out single off Scherzer that
snapped a 1-1 deadlock in the sixth inning.

The hit helped deal Scherzer (1-2) a second loss in four outings despite the
prized free-agent addition yielding just two runs over seven innings of work.

Denard Span drove in the Nationals’ lone run with a single in the rubber game
of this three-game series.

Adams atoned for a defensive lapse in the fifth inning that helped Washington
tie the game at 1-1. Stepping to the plate with two on and two out in the
sixth, the big first baseman inside-outed a Scherzer pitch to left field for a
single that brought home Heyward and sent the Cardinals in front.

Wacha made the lead stick by setting down nine straight hitters after Span’s
RBI single in the fifth, and Mark Reynolds put St. Louis further in front with
a pinch-hit RBI double that followed Matt Holliday’s single in the eighth.

Reynolds scored as well on the play when Nationals reliever Aaron Barrett air-
mailed the ball to second after retrieving Espinosa’s errant throw to the
plate while attempting to nab Holliday.

Jordan Walden and Trevor Rosenthal finished out the game for St. Louis, with
the latter tossing a perfect ninth to record his sixth save.

An aggressive St. Louis lineup jumped on Scherzer early, as Carpenter doubled
on the game’s first pitch, raced to third on a base hit from Heyward and
crossed the plate when Scherzer skipped a pitch in the dirt for a wild pitch.

Scherzer rebounded to retire 16 of the next 17 batters following Heyward’s
single, and the Nationals cashed in on Danny Espinosa’s leadoff double in the
fifth to draw even.

Espinosa’s hit was preceded by Scherzer’s seemingly harmless grounder to
short, but Adams had his foot off the bag while taking Jhonny Peralta’s throw
for an error that placed runners at the corners. Span laced the next pitch for
a single to right that knotted the score at 1-1.

Game Notes

Carpenter is batting .429 (18-for-42) with 11 runs scored and 10 RBI over a
10-game hitting streak … Wacha has allowed just two earned runs over 22 2/3
innings in three lifetime starts against the Nationals … Washington’s Ian
Desmond doubled in the eighth inning to extend his hitting streak to nine
games … Scherzer, a St. Louis-area native, was facing the Cardinals for the
first time since 2009, while then with the Arizona Diamondbacks … Since Game
5 of the 2012 National League Division Series, the Cardinals have won 13 of 16
meetings with Washington.