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St. Louis at Washington

Wellemeyer keeps winning as Cards upend Nats in Game 1 of DH

CBSSports.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- Troy Glaus got a different look at the ball during a fill-in game at first base. At the plate, everything was perfectly normal.

Glaus hit a two-run homer, and Albert Pujols added the first pinch-hit home run of his career, helping Todd Wellemeyer and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Washington Nationals 4-1 on Thursday in the opener of a day-night doubleheader.

The Cardinals won for the sixth time in eight games. The doubleheader was scheduled following Wednesday night's rainout.

Washington has four straight and fallen a season-low 12 games below .500.

Glaus has been an All-Star third baseman throughout his 11 seasons in the majors, with occasional stints at shortstop. But with Pujols slowed by a strained calf, Glaus played first base for the first time since he was 16.

"It's been a long time since I've been on that side of the field," Glaus said. "A ground ball is a ground ball. All in all, it was all right."

Glaus hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning. It was his third home run in five games after hitting only two in the first 56 games.

Glaus has hit at least 30 home runs five times in his career and twice topped 40.

"They're fun. They're great. It's nice to get them," Glaus said. "Scoring runs and driving in runs - that's my role in the lineup.

Pujols lobbied manager Tony La Russa for a chance to play. The Cardinals slugger wasn't scheduled to be in the lineup for the second game of the doubleheader.

"I think (La Russa) knows how competitive I am, and even when he gives me a day off, I want to be in the lineup," Pujols said. "It's a long day for me. I'm just sitting around chewing gum."

Pujols batted for Wellemeyer in the seventh, and his 15th home run of the season, off Joel Hanrahan, barely cleared the left-field wall.

Wellemeyer (7-1), who hasn't lost in seven starts since April 28, allowed five hits in six innings. He struck out five, walked one and hit a batter.

"He's a complete pitcher," La Russa said. "I think he's as consistent as anyone we're sending out there."

Ryan Franklin, the fifth Cardinals reliever, pitched a scoreless ninth for his seventh save in nine chances.

Wellemeyer, the NL pitcher of the month for May thanks to a 4-0 record and 2.19 ERA, got all the runs he needed from Glaus' fourth-inning homer off John Lannan (4-6).

St. Louis added a fourth run in the seventh after Brendan Ryan walked. He stole second and scored on a two-out double by Joe Mather.

The Nationals had runners on in each of the first eight innings but didn't score until there were two outs in the eighth. Chris Perez walked two batters and Felipe Lopez's single off Randy Flores scored Kory Casto to prevent Washington from being shut out for the ninth time this season.

The Nationals stranded 11 runners in all.

"Most of our hits and walks came with two outs. We couldn't get anything going with two outs, especially with runners in scoring position," Washington manager Manny Acta said. "I hope they don't give up on themselves because I haven't given up on them, and I'm not going to."

Notes

  • The Cardinals played without OF Rick Ankiel, who has an infected right knee.
  • Pujols has 13 hits in his past 24 at-bats.
  • Washington picked RHP Aaron Crow from the University of Missouri with the ninth selection in the draft.
  • St. Louis chose 3B Brett Wallace from Arizona State with the 13th pick.
 
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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Albert Pujols comes through in a pinch, hitting his first career pinch-hit homer.  (AP)
Albert Pujols comes through in a pinch, hitting his first career pinch-hit homer. (AP)