At least the Cardinals showed a little life Thursday night against the Nationals.
They rallied to tie the game in the ninth inning after trailing the whole way. But makeshift closer Fernando Salas couldn't keep the lid on Washington in the 10th and the Birds lost the game 7-4 on a three-run homer.
The St. Louis starters have seemed worn down lately and Kyle Lohse was no different. He allowed three homers in six innings of work including a pair of solo shots in the first inning. But Lohse gutted it out and held the Nationals to only one other run in his stay on the mound -- and a total of seven hits and a walk.
The Cardinals welcomed back Matt Holliday from a stay on the disabled list thanks to his strained quad. And he brought immediate results with a solo homer in the top of the second inning that cut the Birds' deficit to 2-1.
Albert Pujols hit his 16th homer of the year to account for another of the Cardinals' four runs and Yadier Molina did the rest. He hit a grounder to second to drive Pujols home in the fourth and hit a solo homer in the ninth to tie the game.
But Salas gave up a single to the first batter he faced and struck out the second. He hit the third to push the tying run into scoring position. But it wouldn't matter when .233 hitting Washington second baseman Danny Espinosa, who was 3-for-5 on the night, hit a ball way over the boards to bring the game to an end.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Molina
Cardinals Play of the Game: Molina's ninth inning homer.
Lowlight: Fernando Salas has achieved results, for the most part. But he can't seem to pitch a 1-2-3 inning to save his life and it came back to bite the Cardinals in the 10th.