The Cardinals' offense remained lethargic in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series, as Max Scherzer held them without a hit for the first six innings and Washington went on to post a 3-1 win at Busch Stadium.
The Nationals opened a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, which will move to Washington on Monday night. The Cardinals will need to win at least twice in three road games to get the series back to St. Louis.
Adam Eaton doubled in two runs in the eighth against Adam Wainwright, who otherwise had a strong outing that saw him allow seven hits and strike out 11 in 7 1/3 innings.
After being held without a hit until two were out in the eighth in Game 1, the Cardinals went without a hit against Scherzer until Paul Goldschmidt led off the seventh inning with a clean single to left field.
However, a strikeout and double play kept the Cardinals from threatening. The Cardinals had three hits for the game.
They finally ended a 22-inning drought without a run in the eighth when Paul DeJong singled with two outs and pinch-hitter Jose Martinez followed with a double over the head of center fielder Michael Taylor.
The Cardinals starters went 45 at-bats without a hit in the NLCS until Goldschmidt's single.
Scherzer served notice that he was at the top of his game by recording three strikeouts in the first inning and working around a walk issued to Kolten Wong.
After the walk, he retired 16 consecutive hitters. Wong nearly had a single in the fourth but Howie Kendrick made a diving stop going to his left at second base and threw him out.
The Cardinals might have done more damage in the eighth, but Eaton made a spectacular catch on a ball hit by Tommy Edman before DeJong singled.
Washington closer Daniel Hudson returned from paternity leave and recorded the final two outs for the save.