Jaime Garcia threw five strong innings and the bullpen pitched in four more to push the Cardinals into a four-way tie for first place Wednesday.
The Cardinals took the second game of the double header by a 5-3 score when Mitchell Boggs wrapped it up in the ninth for his first major league save.
Garcia allowed only four hits but was dinged by three Cardinals errors which drove up his pitch count and pushed him out of the game early. Of the three runs he allowed, only one was earned.
Right fielder Lance Berkman, who had three hits in four at bats, twice gave the Cardinals the lead with clutch hits. He hit a ground rule double in the fourth to drive home go ahead run after the Nats tied the game in the top of the inning. In the fifth he singled home Albert Pujols in the fifth after Washington had scored two runs in the top of the inning to tie the game at three runs each.
Jason Motte pitched one scoreless inning, Eduardo Sanchez two and then Boggs allowed a two-out hit in the ninth before slamming the door.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Berkman
Cardinals Play of the Game: Berkman's fifth inning single
Lowlight: The Cardinals' three errors in the game