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Washington at St. Louis

Venue: Busch Stadium
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The Washington Nationals hardly looked like postseason newcomers while grinding out a close win over the defending World Series champions.

The Nationals now seek to head home with a commanding lead in their NL division series, and Jordan Zimmermann will try to help by overcoming a rocky history against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 2 on Monday.

Making the franchise's second playoff appearance and first since 1981, Washington calmly rallied for a 3-2 victory Sunday. The Nationals shut out the Cardinals after the second inning and worked their way out of a bases-loaded jam with no outs in the seventh before Tyler Moore drove in the tying and go-ahead runs on a two-out, pinch-hit single in the eighth.

"Not many people have probably watched too many Nationals games, but we have a great starting rotation and a great bullpen," said shortstop Ian Desmond, who had three singles and scored a run. "They keep us in the ballgame and some timely hits from this kid, and the rest of the guys coming off the bench, that's really been the formula."

Washington will try to head into the first postseason game in the nation's capital since 1933 with a 2-0 lead in the series, and Zimmermann (12-8, 2.94 ERA) is looking to aid that cause by avoiding another miserable performance against St. Louis. He's 0-2 with a 9.12 ERA in five career matchups with the Cardinals, easily his worst showing against any opponent.

St. Louis tagged Zimmermann for a career-high eight runs over a season-low 3 2-3 innings Sept. 1 in Washington, although the right-hander was better at Busch Stadium in his final regular-season start Sept. 29, allowing three runs over 6 1-3 innings in the Nationals' 6-4, 10-inning victory.

The hitters on the Cardinals' playoff roster are a combined 26 for 69 (.377) against him with Yadier Molina going 5 for 11.

"It's going to be tough to shut them completely down," Zimmermann told the Nationals' official website. "They are going to get their runs, but you've just got to keep it to a minimum and try to get out of jams as best you can when you're in a tight spot."

While Zimmermann, who went 3-0 with a 2.61 ERA over his final five starts, will be making his postseason debut, Jaime Garcia (7-7, 3.92) will pitch in his sixth playoff game since the beginning of last October. He went 0-2 with a 4.21 ERA in five starts during the Cardinals' championship run, but the worst of those came on the road and he allowed only six runs over 21 2-3 innings in St. Louis.

"It definitely helps a little bit because you've been out there in a situation like we are right now," he said. "You take what you learned from last year, but you know, I'm just going to try to do the same thing that I try to do every time I go out there. I just give my best and give my team a chance to win. That's all I basically worry about."

Like Zimmermann, Garcia also ended the regular season with some momentum, prevailing in three straight starts and putting up a 2.10 ERA over his final four. He's 3-0 with a 1.61 ERA in his last four home outings.

Garcia, though, gave up six runs and nine hits over 5 1-3 innings in his only matchup with Washington this season Aug. 30. The left-hander's start at Nationals Park was his third following a stint on the 60-day disabled list with a sprained throwing shoulder.

"It's one of those things where they had a really good lineup and a really good team, and made a couple mistakes and paid the consequences," he said.

Desmond, Danny Espinosa, Jayson Werth and Michael Morse have four hits apiece off Garcia, going a combined 16 for 40 (.400).

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Weather
weather image  Sunny. Mild.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
63°F34°F9mph/S34%3%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Washington1st NL East8764.576-7-3 L 1
St. Louis1st NL Central8468.553-6-4 W 1
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Jaime Garcia
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Bernadina63001.500
Espinosa94003.444
Morse94020.444
Desmond104011.400
Harper31100.333
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Jordan Zimmermann
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Freese221101.000
Kozma32000.667
Molina115000.455
Jay83001.375
Holliday83132.375
 
Game Odds
AwayLineHomeLine
Washington -110 St. Louis 100
Injuries
Washington
PlayerInjury
T. JordanElbow
J. KobernusHand
N. McLouthShoulder
R. OhlendorfBack
M. PurkeElbow
R. ZimmermanHamstring
St. Louis
PlayerInjury
J. GarciaShoulder
S. RobinsonShoulder
M. WachaShoulder
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 14MILSTL 4-0Lynn Garza 
Apr 15MILSTL 6-1Miller Estrada 
Apr 16MILMIL 5-1Peralta Kelly 
Apr 28STLMIL 5-3Duke Maness 
Apr 29STLMIL 5-4Thornburg Siegrist 
Apr 30STLSTL 9-3Miller Garza 
Jul 11MILSTL 7-6Neshek Rodriguez 
Jul 12MILSTL 10-2Wainwright Nelson 
Jul 13MILMIL 11-2Peralta Martinez 
Aug 1STLMIL 7-4Peralta Wainwright 
Aug 2STLSTL 9-7Masterson Lohse 
Aug 3STLSTL 3-2Lackey Jeffress 
Sep 4MILSTL 3-2Gonzales Peralta 
Sep 5MILMIL 6-2Fiers Lackey 
Sep 6MILSTL 5-3Lynn Lohse 
Sep 7MILSTL 9-1Wainwright Nelson 
Sep 16STLMIL 3-2Kintzler Siegrist 
Sep 17STLSTL 2-0Wainwright Fiers 
Sep 18STL 8:15 PM EDT