The St. Louis Cardinals improved their record to 4-1 on the season with a 5-4 win over the Washington Nationals Saturday afternoon at Busch Stadium.
The Cards drew first blood in the 2nd inning, scoring a pair of runs on 4 hits, with starting pitcher Adam Wainwright helping his own cause with a run scoring single.
St. Louis scored twice more in the 3rd as Yadier Molina drove in both runs with his second hit of the day, giving the Cardinals a 4-0 lead.
Washington got on the board with a run in the top of the 4th inning as Wainwright got into a bit of trouble. But things might have been worse for the Redbirds if it hadn’t been for a sparkling defensive play by second baseman Adam Kennedy who dove to his right to snag a ground ball headed to center field. He tossed the ball over his shoulder to shortstop Cesar Izturis who was covering second to make an important force out.
The guns were silent until the top of the 8th when the Nationals scored their second run of the day on a 408 foot home run to center field by Nick Johnson – his first round tripper of the season – making the score St. Louis 4, Washington 2.
The Redbirds picked up an insurance run in the 8th when Adam Kennedy scored from third on a passed ball.
And they would need it as the Nats put 2 runs on the board in the top of the 9th as Jesus Flores blasted a 377 foot home run to left, his 1st of the season, making it a 5-4 game. That’s how it ended.
Wainwright (1-0) gets the win in his first official start of the season following his washed out performance in the Cards’ scheduled opener that was rained out. He allowed only 2 earned runs on 8 hits over 8 innings. Randy Flores pitched to a batter to earn his 1st save. Matt Chico (0-1) allowed 4 earned runs in 6 innings to take the loss.
The Cardinals (4-1) and the Nationals (3-3) wrap up their weekend series Sunday afternoon at Busch. Kyle Lohse (0-0) goes to the mound for the Redbirds against Washington’s John Lannan (0-0).