The Cardinals’ five-game winning streak came to an end on Sunday with a 3-2 loss to the Nationals. Chris Carpenter, who usually holds on to leads tightly, was charged with the loss after his teammates gave him a 2-0 advantage early on.
Abraham Nunez got the Cardinals on the board with an RBI single to score David Eckstein in the first inning. Jim Edmonds hit his 10th home run of the season in the third to gave St. Louis a 2-0 lead.
Washington center fielder Brad Wilkerson, who already had two doubles in his first two at-bats, belted a two-run ground-rule double off Carpenter in the fifth inning to tie the game. Second baseman Jamey Carroll followed up with an RBI single to score Wilkerson to make it 3-2.
Carpenter pitched through the seventh inning, but the offense couldn’t produce any more runs. Livan Hernandez, who like Carpenter was 7-2 entering the game, also lasted seven innings to get the win. The Cardinals reached first base just five times after the third inning.
Despite the loss, St. Louis still has a 7 ½ game lead over the second-place Cubs in the National League Central and they’re just a half-game behind the White Sox for the best record in baseball.