St. Louis at Washington

St. Louis
W: S. Miller (3-1) L: D. Haren (1-3) S: E. Mujica (2)
HR: STL - None   WAS - None

Craig, Molina RBI carry Cardinals past Nationals wire reports

WASHINGTON -- The setting and the situation were so similar, Pete Kozma couldn't help but recall what happened six months ago.

"I can think of one game," he said, more mischief in his words than in his deadpan facial expression.

With two runners on, No. 8 hitter Kozma came to bat for St. Louis in a tight game against the Washington Nationals, the Cardinals' pitcher on deck. When that happened the last time these teams played a game that counted, it was Oct. 12, in Game 5 of an NL division series, and Washington pitched to Kozma, who delivered a go-ahead, two-run single.

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On Monday night, the Nationals chose to intentionally walk Kozma -- something some fans surely wished the Nationals had done the other time -- and reliever Craig Stammen struck out Shelby Miller to end the inning. Earlier in the sixth, Yadier Molina drove in the tiebreaking run for St. Louis, backing Miller's strong start, and the Cardinals beat the Nationals 3-2.

"Before the game, I got to thinking about it a little bit here and there," Kozma said.

He was booed during pregame introductions and again when his name was announced before his first plate appearance, in the third inning. He singled to right in that at-bat, the ball landing not too far from where his go-ahead hit landed in October. This time, it was part of a two-run inning, with Kozma and Matt Carpenter coming home on Allen Craig's double off the wall for a 2-0 lead.

When Kozma came up for the final time Monday, in the ninth, he was the first batter faced by - guess who? -- Drew Storen, who was Washington's closer on Oct. 12. The Nationals led 6-0 after three innings that day, and were still ahead 7-5 with two outs in the top of the ninth, before Storen gave up a tying hit to Daniel Descalso and Kozma's hit that made it 9-7 and ended the Nationals' season.

After striking out Kozma on Monday, Storen got pinch-hitter Descalso to pop out to third base.

"All of that did flash before my mind when it was all coming up," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said.

Storen, by the way, said October, the Cardinals and Kozma were not in his thoughts at all.

"If it was," he said, "I shouldn't be out there."

Miller (3-1) struck out eight in 6 2/3 innings, giving up two runs and four hits.

"He's got a different look than the majority of the guys we have on our staff, and a lot of other guys in the league. He's keeping people off balance with that," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.

"You can't go out there and try and teach somebody deception, necessarily," Matheny added. "The ball just comes out of his hand a little different."

Edward Mujica pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his second save, and with Mitchell Boggs having blown two of four save chances, Matheny said he'll figure out his bullpen roles game by game.

All the Cardinals' runs came against Dan Haren (1-3), who allowed six hits in five-plus innings.

"I gave us a chance until the fifth," Haren said. "Then I got into a mess."

In a span of three pitches. Haren plunked the inning's first batter, Matt Holliday, and then served up first-pitch singles to Carlos Beltran and Molina, putting St. Louis ahead 3-2. Haren then walked David Freese, loading the bases with no outs, and was done.

In came righty reliever Craig Stammen, who got Jon Jay to ground into a 3-2-3 double play before the walk to Kozma and strikeout of Miller.

Miller departed after walking Kurt Suzuki to put two on with two outs in the seventh. Joe Kelly came on to face pinch-hitter Chad Tracy, who sent a sinking shot to right-center but Jay raced over to make a nice grab.

The Nationals didn't score against relievers Trevor Rosenthal or Mujica, either, and now have lost seven of their last 10 games, averaging only 3.3 runs in that span.

"We're just in a rut," Washington first baseman Adam LaRoche said. "Lot of quick innings. Not a ton of baserunners. And five, six guys that aren't swinging the bat real good. When it rains, it pours."


  • Cardinals 1B Matt Adams was removed from the lineup after feeling soreness in his right side during batting practice.
  • The Cardinals have alternated wins and losses over their last nine games.
  • Washington closer Rafael Soriano was away from the team because his wife gave birth.
  • Washington 3B Anthony Rendon, called up from Double-A Harrisburg over the weekend to fill in while Ryan Zimmerman is on the DL, had his first major league hit and RBI -- doubling to right-center to make it 2-all in the fourth.
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.
The Cardinals' Shelby Miller fans eight and allows two runs in 6 2/3 innings to defeat the Nats and move to 3-1. (Getty Images)
The Cardinals' Shelby Miller fans eight and allows two runs in 6 2/3 innings to defeat the Nats and move to 3-1. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

A. Craig
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
St. Louis

S. Miller
IP 6.2
H 4
ER 2
BB 2
K 8

Related Video

St. Louis Cardinals
Matt Carpenter, 2B4110111 .265
Allen Craig, 1B4022011 .250
Matt Holliday, LF3100002 .233
Carlos Beltran, RF4020001 .297
Yadier Molina, C4011011 .319
David Freese, 3B3010110 .235
Jon Jay, CF4000002 .197
Pete Kozma, SS2110210 .241
Shelby Miller, P1000013 .000
    Joe Kelly, P0000000 .000
    Trevor Rosenthal, P0000000 .000
   a- Daniel Descalso, PH1000000 .178
    Edward Mujica, P0000000 .000
a-popped out for Rosenthal in the 9th
2B - Allen Craig (6, Haren)
SH - Shelby Miller 2 (4)
RBI - Allen Craig 2 (14), Yadier Molina (12)
2-OUT RBI - Allen Craig 2 (8)
Team LOB - 7
E - Yadier Molina (2, Throwing)
St. Louis Cardinals
Shelby Miller (W,3-1) 6.2422280 2.16
Joe Kelly (H,1) 0.1000000 6.00
Trevor Rosenthal (H,5) 1100120 3.86
Edward Mujica (S,2) 1000010 1.23
Pitches-Strikes - Shelby Miller 98-65, Joe Kelly 3-2, Trevor Rosenthal 23-15, Edward Mujica 10-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Shelby Miller 6-6, Trevor Rosenthal 1-0, Edward Mujica 1-1
Batters Faced - Shelby Miller 26, Joe Kelly 1, Trevor Rosenthal 5, Edward Mujica 3
Washington Nationals
Denard Span, CF4010011 .270
Jayson Werth, RF4110021 .274
Bryce Harper, LF3000101 .353
Adam LaRoche, 1B4000011 .185
Ian Desmond, SS4111022 .288
Anthony Rendon, 3B4011020 .125
Danny Espinosa, 2B4010001 .176
Kurt Suzuki, C2000210 .243
Dan Haren, P2000021 .143
    Craig Stammen, P0000000 .000
   a- Chad Tracy, PH1000002 .136
    Ryan Mattheus, P0000000 .000
    Drew Storen, P0000000 .000
a-flied out for Stammen in the 7th
2B - Ian Desmond (8, Miller), Anthony Rendon (1, Miller)
RBI - Ian Desmond (5), Anthony Rendon (1)
2-OUT RBI - Ian Desmond (1), Anthony Rendon (1)
SB - Kurt Suzuki (1, 3rd base off Miller/Molina)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Desmond-Espinosa-LaRoche, LaRoche-Suzuki, Rendon-Espinosa-LaRoche
Washington Nationals
Dan Haren (L,1-3) 5633330 7.36
Craig Stammen 2200110 3.38
Ryan Mattheus 1000010 3.86
Drew Storen 1000010 6.14
IBB - Kozma by Craig Stammen
HBP - Holliday (by Dan Haren)
Pitches-Strikes - Dan Haren 98-57, Craig Stammen 25-10, Ryan Mattheus 13-9, Drew Storen 7-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dan Haren 7-4, Craig Stammen 3-0, Ryan Mattheus 2-0, Drew Storen 1-1
Batters Faced - Dan Haren 24, Craig Stammen 7, Ryan Mattheus 3, Drew Storen 3
Game Information
Attendance - 27263
Game Time - 2:42
Temperature - 51
Umpires - Home - Jim Wolf, First Base - Cory Blaser, Second Base - Jim Joyce, Third Base - Jeff Nelson