The St. Louis Cardinals pounded out eleven hits to beat the Washington Nationals 8-6 Saturday night at Busch Stadium in a game that included lots of runs, a lot of hits, and a 1 hour and 41 minute rain delay with two out in the top of the 9th inning.
The Nationals struck first, scoring a run on three hits in the top of the 1st inning. Christian Guzman, who singled, went to second on Ryan Zimmerman’s single, then came home on Ryan Church base hit.
The Cardinals bounced back in the bottom of the 1st, scoring two runs on three hits, all with two men out. Albert Pujols got the rally started with a base hit to extend his consecutive games hitting streak to ten games. A Scott Spiezio single sent Pujols to third. Following a walk to Scott Rolen, Jim Edmonds singled to bring home Pujols and Spiezio.
St. Louis scored its third run in the 3rd inning. Pujols reached first on his second hit of the night, went to second on a Spiezio fly to right, took third on a Rolen flyout to center, then scored on Jim Edmonds’ second base hit of the night.
The Cardinals then enjoyed a big inning in the 4th, scoring five runs to take a commanding 8-1 lead. Adam Kennedy led off the inning with a single, was sacrificed to second by starting pitcher Brad Thompson, then came home on a David Eckstein hit. Chris Duncan and Pujols walked, Spiezio hit a sharp line drive to first baseman Dmitri Young, who fired home too late to force Eckstein. With the bases full, Rolen doubled to score Duncan and Pujols. After the Cards loaded the bases again, Kennedy came to bat for the second time in the inning and walked to score Spiezio.
Washington banged out four hits in the 6th to score a couple of runs, narrowing the lead St. Louis lead to 8-3. That chased Redbirds’ starter and winning pitcher Brad Thompson (3-1), who pitched 5 1/3 innings, giving up three earned runs on ten hits.
The Nats put a scare into the Cards in the 9th, scoring two more runs on back to back doubles by Ryan Church and Austin Kearns and a single up the middle by Young. Jason Isringhausen came in in relief and, after giving up the single to Young, had to put the victory on hold as the heavens opened up and rain forced a delay. Once play resumed, Isringhausen put an end to the threat, picking up his 13th save.
The Cardinals and Nationals close out their weekend set with the rubber game of the series Sunday afternoon at Busch Stadium.