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St. Louis (68-57)010400014000010141
Washington (54-74) «003012202000111160

Pujols hits homer No. 400, Cards fall in 13 to Nats

CBSSports.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- The Washington Nationals aren't planning on any playoff celebrations this year, so they'll make do with moments like Thursday night's thrilling victory.

If the St. Louis Cardinals don't start beating last-place clubs, they won't have any postseason joy, either.

Ian Desmond singled home Nyjer Morgan in the bottom of the 13th inning and Washington overcame Albert Pujols' 400th home run in an 11-10 roller-coaster win over the Cardinals.

More on the Nats

"I don't really know what big league playoff baseball feels like -- I'm sure the atmosphere is a little bit more hectic -- but that was a great-played game by both sides," said Desmond, who finished with four hits and three RBI.

Morgan was hit by a pitch from Blake Hawksworth (4-8) while squaring to bunt leading off the 13th, then advanced to third on Alberto Gonzalez's one-out single. With the infield in, Desmond bounced a grounder up the middle to end the Nationals' four-game losing streak.

The Nationals used eight pitchers, the Cardinals seven, and Washington went through every position player available. There was at least one run scored in every inning from the second through the ninth. The Cardinals scored four in the top of the ninth to take a 10-8 lead, but Roger Bernadina's two-run homer to right-center off Ryan Franklin sent the game to extra innings. At one point, the clock and scoreboard were in sync: It was 10-10 at 10:10.

"That game had all the elements: comebacks from both clubs, timely hitting, good baserunning, good defense," Washington manager Jim Riggleman said. "It had a little bit of everything."

Doug Slaten (4-1) pitched a scoreless inning for the Nationals, who broke out of their offensive doldrums with 16 hits. Washington had been shut out three times in the past week.

It all capped what had already been a busy day at Nationals Park, with Washington introducing this year's No. 1 overall draft pick, Bryce Harper, and having an MRI performed on last year's No. 1 overall selection, Stephen Strasburg. His test results are to be released Friday.

Pujols hit his milestone homer leading off the fourth, but it couldn't stop a St. Louis slide that has come at an inopportune time in the playoff race. The Cardinals have lost three straight and eight of 11 -- including a demoralizing two in a row to last-place Pittsburgh before arriving to play last-place Washington.

"We've got to win ballgames, that's what it comes down to," starting pitcher Chris Carpenter said. "It doesn't matter how we do it, whether it's 15-14 or 1-0, we've got to win ballgames, and unfortunately I didn't pitch well enough tonight to give my team a chance."

Pujols sent an 0-1 fastball from Jordan Zimmermann into the right-center seats to become the 47th major league player to reach 400 homers, and the third-youngest to do so. Pujols stood and admired the shot, then was mobbed by teammates when he returned to the dugout.

"It's a special milestone," Pujols said, "but I don't play for numbers."

The slugger also hurt his right ankle in the bottom of the 10th when he tried to plant his foot on the tarp to reach for a foul ball near the first base dugout. He stayed in the game but was uncertain he would be able to play Friday.

"It's pretty sore right now," Pujols said. "It was pretty scary."

Looking to shake things up, Riggleman canceled regular batting practice and had his players hit in the indoor cage instead. He also shuffled the lineup, putting Adam Kennedy at leadoff for the first time this season, moving Morgan to second and Desmond to fifth.

It seemed to pay off. Every player in the starting lineup except the pitcher had at least one hit.

Zimmermann made his first major league start after having elbow ligament replacement surgery 12 months ago. A premier prospect before he got hurt, he allowed five runs and seven hits over four innings.

Carpenter, another pitcher who came back from Tommy John surgery, allowed 10 hits over six innings. He gave up six runs, but only three were earned because of shortstop Felipe Lopez's throwing error in the third.

Notes

  • Alex Rodriguez is the youngest player to get to 400 homers, having done so at 29 years, 316 days. Ken Griffey Jr. reached the benchmark at 30 years, 141 days. Pujols reached it at 30 years, 222 days.
  • The Nationals said OF Josh Willingham should be recovered in four to six weeks from surgery on his left knee. Willingham had the operation Wednesday and will not play again this season.
  • 3B Pedro Feliz has hit safely in all seven games since he was traded to the Cardinals from Houston.
 
Copyright 2015 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 reaches the 400-homer mark faster than anybody outside of Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey Jr.  (AP)
Albert Pujols reaches the 400-homer mark faster than anybody outside of Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey Jr. (AP)

Players of the Game
Washington

I. Desmond
AB 7
R 1
H 4
HR 0
RBI 3
St. Louis

R. Winn
AB 6
R 1
H 4
HR 0
RBI 3
 

Related Video

St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Felipe Lopez, SS2001110 .242
    Brendan Ryan, SS4111001 .224
Jon Jay, CF7000016 .340
Albert Pujols, 1B4321310 .321
Matt Holliday, LF4111001 .300
    Trever Miller, P0000000 .000
   a- Kyle Lohse, PH1000001 .182
    Fernando Salas, P0000000 .000
   b- Adam Wainwright, PH1000002 .188
    Blake Hawksworth, P0000000 .000
Randy Winn, RF6143020 .248
Yadier Molina, C5210003 .260
Skip Schumaker, 2B4023001 .268
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000 .000
   c- Allen Craig, PH-LF2000021 .195
Pedro Feliz, 3B6120002 .234
Chris Carpenter, P2000023 .105
   d- Colby Rasmus, PH1000010 .269
    Kyle McClellan, P0000000 .500
    Mitchell Boggs, P0000000 .000
    Aaron Miles, 2B2110110 .327
Totals51101410511  
a-hit into fielder's choice for Miller in the 11th
b-popped out for Salas in the 13th
c-struck out for Franklin in the 10th
d-struck out for Carpenter in the 7th
Batting
2B - Brendan Ryan (17, Storen), Albert Pujols (30, Clippard), Yadier Molina (15, Zimmermann)
HR - Albert Pujols (34, Zimmermann)
RBI - Felipe Lopez (35), Brendan Ryan (27), Albert Pujols (93), Matt Holliday (79), Randy Winn 3 (23), Skip Schumaker 3 (36)
2-OUT RBI - Skip Schumaker (10)
SB - Randy Winn (6, 2nd base off Batista/Rodriguez)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Molina-F. Lopez
E - Felipe Lopez (12, Throwing)
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Chris Carpenter 61063110 2.93
Kyle McClellan 0.2222210 2.16
Mitchell Boggs 0.1000010 3.72
Ryan Franklin 2222021 3.51
Trever Miller 1000010 3.90
Fernando Salas 2000220 2.08
Blake Hawksworth (L,4-8) 0.1211010 5.26
HBP - Morgan (by Blake Hawksworth)
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Carpenter 93-61, Kyle McClellan 23-10, Mitchell Boggs 8-5, Ryan Franklin 32-21, Trever Miller 22-18, Fernando Salas 38-22, Blake Hawksworth 7-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Carpenter 11-6, Ryan Franklin 2-2, Trever Miller 1-1, Fernando Salas 2-2
Batters Faced - Chris Carpenter 29, Kyle McClellan 6, Mitchell Boggs 1, Ryan Franklin 8, Trever Miller 3, Fernando Salas 8, Blake Hawksworth 4
Washington Nationals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Adam Kennedy, 2B-1B6111012 .260
Nyjer Morgan, CF5210002 .259
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B6221111 .301
Adam Dunn, 1B3111012 .260
    Alberto Gonzalez, 2B3120000 .286
Ian Desmond, SS7143012 .279
Roger Bernadina, LF6222022 .267
Ivan Rodriguez, C5120110 .270
Willie Harris, RF4012211 .178
Jordan Zimmermann, P1000000 .000
   a- Jason Marquis, PH1000000 .167
    Craig Stammen, P0000000 .243
   b- Michael Morse, PH0001000 .266
    Joel Peralta, P0000000 .000
   c- Kevin Mench, PH1000012 .077
    Tyler Clippard, P0000000 .500
    Drew Storen, P0000000 .500
    Sean Burnett, P0000000 .000
   d- Justin Maxwell, PH1000000 .100
    Doug Slaten, P0000000 .000
   e- Wil Nieves, PH0000100 .205
    Miguel Batista, P0000000 .125
Totals4911161159  
a-grounded out for Zimmermann in the 4th
b-hit a sacrifice fly for Stammen in the 6th
c-struck out for Peralta in the 7th
d-grounded out for Burnett in the 10th
e-walked for Batista in the 12th
Batting
2B - Adam Kennedy (14, Carpenter), Adam Dunn (31, Carpenter)
HR - Roger Bernadina (9, Franklin)
SF - Adam Kennedy (4), Adam Dunn (4), Michael Morse (1)
SH - Nyjer Morgan (13)
RBI - Adam Kennedy (28), Ryan Zimmerman (72), Adam Dunn (79), Ian Desmond 3 (53), Roger Bernadina 2 (38), Willie Harris 2 (24), Michael Morse (24)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Zimmerman (25), Ian Desmond 2 (26), Willie Harris 2 (6)
CS - Ian Desmond (4, 2nd base by Carpenter/Molina)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - Kennedy-Desmond-Dunn, Desmond-Gonzalez-Kennedy
Washington Nationals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jordan Zimmermann 4755141 11.25
Craig Stammen 2000020 5.09
Joel Peralta (H,5) 1000010 2.57
Tyler Clippard (H,21) 0.1211000 3.33
Drew Storen (BS,1) 1344110 3.24
Sean Burnett 1.2100020 2.83
Miguel Batista 2100110 4.09
Doug Slaten (W,4-1) 1000200 2.86
IBB - Pujols by Drew Storen, Pujols by Miguel Batista, Pujols by Doug Slaten
HBP - Molina (by Jordan Zimmermann), Holliday (by Drew Storen)
WP - Doug Slaten (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Jordan Zimmermann 70-42, Craig Stammen 31-20, Joel Peralta 9-7, Tyler Clippard 8-4, Drew Storen 24-13, Sean Burnett 26-18, Miguel Batista 31-17, Doug Slaten 21-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jordan Zimmermann 4-3, Craig Stammen 2-2, Joel Peralta 2-0, Drew Storen 1-1, Sean Burnett 1-1, Miguel Batista 4-1
Batters Faced - Jordan Zimmermann 20, Craig Stammen 6, Joel Peralta 3, Tyler Clippard 3, Drew Storen 8, Sean Burnett 5, Miguel Batista 8, Doug Slaten 5
Game Information
Attendance - 22317
Game Time - 4:35
Temperature - 85
Umpires - Home - Joe West, First Base - Angel Hernandez, Second Base - Dan Bellino, Third Base - Rob Drake