The St. Louis Cardinals made a starring appearance in the Washington Nationals' defensive nightmare Thursday afternoon, capitalizing on four D.C. errors -- and a host of other miscues -- to win an 8-0 rout.
Adam Wainwright pitched a complete game shutout in which he allowed only one scratch hit before a clean single in the ninth. Washington ended with two safeties and five losses in their last seven games while the Redbirds have won five of six.
The Cardinals got on the board in the first inning when Washington shortstop Ian Desmond couldn't handle Matt Carpenter's lead-off ground ball. Kolten Wong then grounded back to Nationals pitcher Taylor Jordan who couldn't handle the chance to put two runners on with no outs when the bases should have been empty with two dead. Matt Holliday doubled in one run and Matt Adams grounded another one home and Holliday scored on a Yadier Molina single to make the game 3-0.
St. Louis scored another run in the fourth, three in the sixth and one in the seventh to polish off Washington.
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Carpenter, Wong, Holliday, Wainwright and Jhonny Peralta each collected two hits. Wainwright struck out eight and walked three en route to his third win against one loss. His ERA stands at 1.80.
The Cardinals pulled within one game of the Milwaukee Brewers for first place in the NL Central thanks to a Milwaukee loss. The Brewers won nine consecutive games before the Redbirds came to town of Friday. Since then they've dropped four of five.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Wainwright
Cardinals Play of the Game: Holliday's pretty double down the left field line in the first inning.
Lowlight: I'm going to get petty here in a lopsided win. But I was left wondering if it was worthwhile to let Wainwright throw 110 pitches in the first two weeks of the season just for the sake of putting another complete game on his resume. He's 32 years old and has a long season -- and a longer contract in front of him. Let's keep a few miles off the odometer when we have a chance.