December 22, 2014

Cardinals bats come alive and even up series

Jon Jay is congratulated as he comes into the dugout after making a jumping catch. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The Cardinals scored four runs in the second and four more in the eighth to cap off a thirteen hit night to square up their NLDS with Washington by a 12-4 final. Carlos Beltran hit two homers, Allen Craig and Daniel Descalso added solo shots and Beltran and Jon Jay had three RBIs.

A risky move by manager Mike Matheny paid off. With a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second, Matheny pinch hit for starting pitcher Jaime Garcia. Skip Schumaker grounded out and picked up an RBI and Jay singled with two outs to give the Cardinals a 4-1 lead after two.

Jon Jay slides past second base while Washington Nationals Danny Espinosa makes the tag in the second inning. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Garcia gave up one run on two hits and three walks and threw 51 pitches through the first two innings when he was lifted in favor of Lance Lynn.

Allen Craig curved one down the left field foul line to make it 5-1 in the fifth as the Cardinals chased Nats starter Jordan Zimmerman after three innings. He was charged with five earned runs on seven hits.

Lance Lynn gave Matheny three innings with Joe Kelly, Edward Mujica, Mitchell Boggs and Trevor Rosenthal closing out the game. Lynn gave up back to back homers in the fifth that made it a 7-3 game.

Not only did Jay have a great day with his bat, but after Washington grabbed a little momentum in the fifth, Danny Espinosa led off the sixth and sent one deep to left center. Jay on a dead run, flew towards the wall and snagged the ball just before hitting the padding and saving an extra base hit.

Game three is Wednesday with a noon CT first pitch.  Chris Carpenter will start for the Cardinals.