By Michael Marzzacco
After a thrilling 2-1 win on Thursday night, the Nats looked to continue their hot streak against St. Louis. The Cardinals had other ideas and got a big 6-2 win over Washington to move a game over .500 at 25-24. It was their first win of the season against the Nationals, who owned the Cardinals this season, sweeping them in three games at St. Louis and winning again Thursday night.
The Cardinals got to Max Scherzer early. In the top of the third, they loaded the bases and Matt Holliday drew a walk for the first run of the night. Stephen Piscotty followed with a grand slam into right field to go put St. Louis up 5-0.
Scherzer threw seven innings allowing five runs, including a home run and striking out six. He has allowed a home in nine of his last 11 starts. He has allowed 42 home runs since the start of 2015, more than any other active pitcher.
“I know I’ve been giving up a ton of home runs but (Piscotty’s), that’s just an execution thing,” Scherzer told reporters. “That’s just me not throwing the right pitch at the right time with poor execution.”
The Nationals got on the board in the fifth when Danny Espinosa homered to right field. It was his fifth of the season and the second straight game he touched em all. They pulled within three runs in the sixth when Ryan Zimmerman grounded into a fielder’s choice double play. It scored Bryce Harper.
Scherzer had another rough start but Espinosa backed his pitcher.
“I’ll take him out there any day. He goes out and competes and tonight, just didn’t have everything that he wanted,” said Espinosa.
“It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish,” Ben Revere added. “With him, he’s a pitcher who could finish strong. He’ll definitely be big support for us coming down the stretch because he’s one of our go-to guys. He’s definitely our main guy. It’s just one of those games that a couple pitches got away from him. Eventually it’s going to come together and he’ll be the Max Scherzer that we all know.”
In the top of the eighth the Cardinals got an insurance run as Greg Garcia homered to left-center field. The Cards closed the door in the ninth to even the series with a 6-2 win.
Game three of the series takes place at 7:15 from Nationals Park. It’ll be Gio Gonzalez taking the ball for the Nats up against Adam Wainwright and the Cards.