Washington at St. Louis

St. Louis
W: A. Wainwright (1-0) L: M. Chico (0-1)
S: R. Flores (1)
HR: WAS - N. Johnson (1), J. Flores (1)   STL - None

Cardinals 5, Nationals 4

CBSSports.com wire reports

ST. LOUIS -- Adam Kennedy's spectacular defensive play helped the St. Louis Cardinals' injury-depleted rotation complete a dominating opening week.

Adam Wainwright worked eight strong innings of a 5-4 victory over Washington on Saturday, settling down after second baseman Kennedy's play prevented the Nationals from having a big fourth inning.

"If that's not No. 1 today, wow!" Wainwright said. "Who knows where that inning goes if he doesn't make that play? Sometimes you've got to sit back and applaud."

The Nationals bunched three hits and a walk in the fourth, but were held to one run thanks to Kennedy's lunging stop on Austin Kearns' smash up the middle -- followed by a flip from his back to shortstop Cesar Izturis for a forceout. Kennedy was on the grass behind second after sprawling to make the stop, then rolled over and got the ball to Izturis just in time.

"I asked him, 'Is that the best one you've made?"' manager Tony La Russa said. "It's hard to believe he can make a better one than that. Anybody."

That was the only Nationals out in a string of five at-bats, preceded by two hits and followed by a single and a walk. They had the bases loaded before Wainwright recovered from a 3-1 count to get Jesus Flores on a bases-loaded groundout for the third out in an inning that could have gone sour.

"I don't know about great, but it was a good play at that point of the game," Kennedy said. "It's good to be able to help out."

Yadier Molina had two hits and two RBI and Wainwright also drove in a run from the eighth spot in the lineup, where manager La Russa is again placing his pitcher. The Cardinals' 4-1 start is their best since 2000, when they were 7-1, but this is a season that began with reduced expectations.

"This team is not going to embarrass us," La Russa said.

Nick Johnson was 3-for-4 with his first home run and two RBI for Washington, and Flores' two-run shot off Anthony Reyes cut the deficit to a run in the ninth. Randy Flores came in and made one pitch, getting Cristian Guzman to fly out, for his first save of the season and fourth of his career.

The Nationals have lost three in a row after winning their first three games of the year. Manager Manny Acta said failure to control the Cardinals' 6-7-8-9 hitters, who were a combined 5-for-12 with four RBI and four walks, was the key.

"We know when we're going against guys like Wainwright we have to try and play a perfect game, and today we just couldn't throw strikes to the bottom of the order," Acta said.

Matt Chico (0-1) allowed four runs on eight hits in six innings, all but one of them coming in a two-run second and two-run third, with a bases-loaded passed ball by Jesus Flores resulting in an insurance run in the eighth. That run scored after Jesus Colome walked Kennedy and pinch hitter Chris Duncan, the Nos. 7 and 8 hitters, and Ray King walked No. 9 hitter Izturis -- all with two outs.

Colome has walked seven batters in four innings over three appearances, including three in 1 2/3 innings on Saturday.

"He's never been known to have Greg Maddux control, but he can throw the ball close to 100 mph," Acta said. "That's why he's in the game, and he's very valuable to us. He just got a little wild there."

Cardinals starters have allowed four runs in 30 2/3 innings, an 0.88 ERA. And four St. Louis pitchers -- Chris Carpenter, Mark Mulder, Joel Pineiro and Matt Clement -- started the year on the 15-day disabled list.

Wainwright (1-0), whose opening day start was wiped out by rain while leading the Rockies 5-1 in the bottom of the third on Monday, allowed two runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and one walk.


  • Duncan had missed three games with a strained left hamstring, and La Russa said he likely could return to LF on Monday.
  • Mulder threw 2 1/3 innings in an extended spring training game Saturday, allowing two runs on five hits with four strikeouts and no walks while throwing 47 pitches. The timetable remains early May for the left-hander.
  • Pineiro, who had to basically start from scratch in spring training after shoulder tightness stopped him for two weeks, is set to throw a rehab start for Double-A Springfield on Tuesday and hopes to join the rotation after that.
  • Guzman was 0-for-5 after hitting safely in the first five games.
  • La Russa gave closer Jason Isringhausen, who worked three of the first four games, a day off.
Copyright 2017 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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Players of the Game
St. Louis

A. Wainwright
IP 8.0
H 8
ER 2
BB 1
K 4

N. Johnson
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1

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Cristian Guzman, SS5000011 .300
Lastings Milledge, CF4010000 .269
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4120001 .259
Nick Johnson, 1B4132011 .368
Austin Kearns, RF4000002 .286
Ronnie Belliard, 2B4120001 .250
Felipe Lopez, LF3010101 .231
Jesus Flores, C4112004 .500
Matt Chico, P2000010 .200
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a-struck out for Chico in the 7th
b-flied out for King in the 9th
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HR - Nick Johnson (1, Wainwright), Jesus Flores (1, An. Reyes)
RBI - Nick Johnson 2 (4), Jesus Flores 2 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Nick Johnson (2)
Team LOB - 6
Outfield Assists - Felipe Lopez 1
PB - Jesus Flores (1)
Washington Nationals
Matt Chico (L,0-1) 6844250 5.56
Jesus Colome 1.2010320 2.25
Ray King 0.1000100 3.38
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Chico 108-66, Jesus Colome 34-18, Ray King 15-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Chico 4-8, Jesus Colome 2-1
Batters Faced - Matt Chico 27, Jesus Colome 8, Ray King 2
St. Louis Cardinals
Brian Barton, LF3010012 .444
    Skip Schumaker, LF1000102 .000
Rick Ankiel, CF4110032 .316
Albert Pujols, 1B3100101 .400
Troy Glaus, 3B4010001 .167
Ryan Ludwick, RF4000023 .267
Yadier Molina, C4122000 .333
Adam Kennedy, 2B3210102 .400
Adam Wainwright, P3011012 .333
   a- Chris Duncan, PH0000100 .333
    Todd Wellemeyer, PR0000000 .000
    Anthony Reyes, P0000000 .000
    Randy Flores, P0000000 .000
Cesar Izturis, SS2011200 .231
a-walked for Wainwright in the 8th
2B - Rick Ankiel (1, Chico)
3B - Brian Barton (1, Chico)
RBI - Yadier Molina 2 (4), Adam Wainwright (1), Cesar Izturis (1)
2-OUT RBI - Yadier Molina 2 (2), Adam Wainwright (1), Cesar Izturis (1)
CS - Cesar Izturis (1, 2nd base by Chico/Flores)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Izturis-Kennedy-Pujols
St. Louis Cardinals
Adam Wainwright (W,1-0) 8822141 2.25
Anthony Reyes (H,2) 0.2222001 10.80
Randy Flores (S,1) 0.1000000 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Adam Wainwright 107-64, Anthony Reyes 18-13, Randy Flores 1-1
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Adam Wainwright 11-8
Batters Faced - Adam Wainwright 32, Anthony Reyes 4, Randy Flores 1
Game Information
Attendance - 41463
Game Time - 2:49
Temperature - 56
Umpires - Home - Ed Montague, First Base - Jerry Layne, Second Base - Phil Cuzzi, Third Base - Jim Wolf