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St. Louis at Washington

Scoreboard
St. Louis (69-57) «102000010470
Washington (54-75)0000000112122

Pujols smacks 401st, Cards swing past Nationals

CBSSports.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- On the day Stephen Strasburg was declared done for the season, another rookie kept humming along, pitching the St. Louis Cardinals to victory in the ballpark where Strasburg is supposed to rule.

Jaime Garcia pitched 5 1-3 scoreless innings Friday night, and Albert Pujols hit his 401st home run as the Cardinals broke a three-game skid with a 4-2 win over the Washington Nationals.

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Analysis
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Stephen Strasburg's injury is another reason why we need to wait before making hasty proclamations. Read more >>

"You've got to hand it to Jaime," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. "Boy, once again, he comes out there when we need him and pitches an outstanding game."

Garcia (12-6) worked out of several jams, tied a season high with seven strikeouts and extended his streak to 20 1/3 innings without allowing an earned run. The 24-year-old left-hander leads major league rookies in wins.

Garcia pitched his first career shutout in his previous outing, and his performance Friday came at just the right time for the struggling Cardinals. St. Louis had lost 8 of 11 -- including three straight to last-place teams -- to fall behind in the NL Central and wild card races.

"Huge games for us," Garcia said. "I think every game I go out there is a big game, especially the situation we're in right now."

Pujols hit his 400th homer Thursday and later twisted his ankle in a 13-inning loss. However, he was back in the lineup again Friday and put a solo shot beyond the left field bullpen off Scott Olsen (3-7), Pujols' 35th homer of the season and his fifth in seven career games at Nationals Park.

Matt Holliday added his 23rd home run of the year in the eighth inning.

The Nationals lost for the fifth time in six games, failing to lift the cloud that descended over the franchise Friday morning when the team announced that prized right-hander Strasburg has a torn elbow ligament and will likely need Tommy John surgery to repair the damage.

"Was it my toughest day here? I can't really rank them or anything," Washington manager Jim Riggleman said. "I certainly would like to win more ballgames."

The Nationals had been shut out in three of their last seven games, and they couldn't capitalize on numerous chances against Garcia. They left the bases loaded in the second and third innings and had runners on first and second with one out in the fifth.

In the sixth, Washington finally chased Garcia with two hits and a walk that loaded the bases with one out. Mitchell Boggs came on in relief, and pinch hitter Adam Kennedy appeared to put the Nationals on the board until his fly ball down the right field line landed just foul. Kennedy then made the second out with a weak liner to shortstop, and Ian Desmond grounded out to first to end the inning.

When the Nationals finally scored, it came on a home run by pinch hitter Willie Harris in the eighth -- but it was only a solo shot because Nyjer Morgan had just been picked off first base. Washington added another run in the ninth when Desmond doubled off Ryan Franklin and scored on a wild pitch. Franklin also allowed a two-out triple to Michael Morse and then walked Roger Bernadina, but he retired Ivan Rodriguez on a grounder to second to complete his 22nd save.

The Nationals also didn't help themselves in the field, committing two errors in the Cardinals' two-run third. Adam Dunn misplayed a grounder and then made a bad throw that allowed Garcia to reach base, and catcher Rodriguez threw wild in an attempted pickoff at second base. Jon Jay and Holliday drove home the runs in the inning with RBI singles off Olsen, who has lost five straight starts.

"It's a very good Cardinal ballclub. We give them a good battle every night," Riggleman said. "That and, you know, a couple of dollars get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks nowadays, but that's not satisfactory."

Notes
  • Matt Morris was the last St. Louis rookie to win 12 games in a season, finishing with a dozen in 1997.
  • Cardinals C Yadier Molina sat out the game with swelling in his right knee after jamming his leg on the base while running out a groundball in Thursday's loss.
  • Rodriguez's single in the sixth inning was his 2,800th career hit.
  • Washington left 14 men on base, a season high for nine innings.
 
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 proves that his ankle is not a concern after hitting his 401st against a Nationals team that is really hurting. (AP)
Albert Pujols proves that his ankle is not a concern after hitting his 401st against a Nationals team that is really hurting. (AP)

Players of the Game
Washington

I. Desmond
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
St. Louis

M. Holliday
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 
St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Allen Craig, RF3100122 .188
    Trever Miller, P0000000 .000
    Kyle McClellan, P0000000 .500
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000 .000
Jon Jay, CF4011000 .338
Albert Pujols, 1B4111011 .320
Matt Holliday, LF4122000 .302
Felipe Lopez, 2B3000021 .240
    Mitchell Boggs, P0000000 .000
    Randy Winn, RF1000000 .247
Pedro Feliz, 3B4010010 .235
Bryan Anderson, C3010000 .333
Brendan Ryan, SS4000012 .222
Jaime Garcia, P2100002 .163
    Aaron Miles, 2B1010000 .333
Totals3347417  
Batting
HR - Albert Pujols (35, Olsen), Matt Holliday (23, Batista)
RBI - Jon Jay (22), Albert Pujols (94), Matt Holliday 2 (81)
2-OUT RBI - Albert Pujols (37), Matt Holliday 2 (37)
CS - Aaron Miles (1, 2nd base by Batista/Rodriguez)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Ryan-Pujols
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jaime Garcia (W,12-6) 5.1800470 2.33
Mitchell Boggs (H,4) 0.2000100 3.67
Trever Miller (H,8) 1000010 3.77
Kyle McClellan 1211001 2.28
Ryan Franklin (S,22) 1211110 3.61
IBB - Maxwell by Jaime Garcia
WP - Ryan Franklin (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Jaime Garcia 94-57, Mitchell Boggs 11-6, Trever Miller 11-7, Kyle McClellan 13-9, Ryan Franklin 21-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jaime Garcia 5-3, Mitchell Boggs 1-1, Trever Miller 1-1, Kyle McClellan 1-1, Ryan Franklin 1-1
Batters Faced - Jaime Garcia 27, Mitchell Boggs 3, Trever Miller 3, Kyle McClellan 4, Ryan Franklin 6
Washington Nationals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Alberto Gonzalez, 2B3010010 .287
   a- Adam Kennedy, PH-2B2000003 .258
Ian Desmond, SS5130003 .283
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4010102 .300
Adam Dunn, 1B4000123 .258
Michael Morse, RF4020113 .272
Roger Bernadina, LF4010114 .266
Ivan Rodriguez, C5010014 .269
Justin Maxwell, CF2010110 .113
   b- Nyjer Morgan, PH-CF1010000 .260
Scott Olsen, P2000023 .087
   c- Kevin Mench, PH0000100 .077
    Miguel Batista, P0000000 .125
   d- Willie Harris, PH1111000 .182
    Tyler Clippard, P0000000 .500
Totals37212169  
a-popped out for Gonzalez in the 6th
b-singled for Maxwell in the 8th
c-walked for Olsen in the 6th
d-homered for Batista in the 8th
Batting
2B - Ian Desmond (22, Franklin), Michael Morse (5, Garcia)
3B - Michael Morse (2, Franklin)
HR - Willie Harris (7, McClellan)
RBI - Willie Harris (25)
2-OUT RBI - Willie Harris (7)
SB - Ryan Zimmerman (4, 2nd base off Miller/Anderson), Roger Bernadina (12, 2nd base off Garcia/Anderson)
CS - Nyjer Morgan (15, 2nd base by McClellan/Anderson)
Team LOB - 14
Fielding
DP - Desmond-Gonzalez-Dunn
E - Adam Dunn (8, Throwing), Ivan Rodriguez (3, Throwing)
Washington Nationals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Scott Olsen (L,3-7) 6531151 4.91
Miguel Batista 2211011 4.11
Tyler Clippard 1000010 3.28
HBP - Anderson (by Scott Olsen)
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Olsen 105-71, Miguel Batista 27-15, Tyler Clippard 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Olsen 7-6, Miguel Batista 4-0, Tyler Clippard 1-1
Batters Faced - Scott Olsen 25, Miguel Batista 7, Tyler Clippard 3
Game Information
Attendance - 22871
Game Time - 3:06
Temperature - 83
Umpires - Home - Angel Hernandez, First Base - Dan Bellino, Second Base - Rob Drake, Third Base - Joe West