Sidney Ponson moved his record to 3-0 and Jim Edmonds blasted a three-run homer in the first inning to lift the Cardinals to a 6-3 win over the Nationals.

Ponson (3-0) was working on a three-hit shut and a 3-0 lead when he took the mound in the seventh. Nick Johnson led off with a double, but Ponson got Jose Guillen and Ryan Church to both fly out to record the first two outs of the inning. After issuing a walk to Ryan Zimmerman, Brian Schneider stepped to the plate and delivered a two run double to cut St. Louis’ lead to one run.

Ponson was pulled for reliever Brad Thompson, who allowed a single to Royce Clayton before ending the inning by inducing a ground ball from Marlon Byrd.

Though the Cardinals wouldn’t need anymore runs, they gave themselves some cushion in the bottom half of the seventh when Scott Spiezio doubled in Albert Pujols and Juan Encarnacion.

Spiezio, who is filling in for Scott Rolen at third base, is 5-for-11 with four RBI’s and a homer in the last three games. Rolen has been out with bronchitis.

Aaron Miles drove in the final run of the game with a sacrifice fly in the eighth.

Edmonds’ homer in the first inning put the Cardinals u 3-0 and was aided, in part, by an error. The Cardinals had two outs, when Juan Encarnacion reached on a fielding error by Nationals first baseman Nick Johnson. Edmonds was up next and homered.

The Cardinals have one four in a row and moved within a half-game of first place Houston in the N.L. Central. They’re tied with the Reds.