St. Louis at Washington

Scoreboard
St. Louis (11-7) «030000100480
Washington (10-8)000010011381

Lynn improves to 4-0 as Cards beat sloppy Nats

CBSSports.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- Lance Lynn was sharper than he had had been all season, which made it all the more frustrating for him when he failed to make it out of the sixth inning.

Bryce Harper didn't get past the sixth inning either, but for a completely different reason.

Lynn won his fourth straight start and delivered an RBI double after yet another error by Washington, and the St. Louis Cardinals scored three unearned runs to beat Jordan Zimmermann and the Nationals 4-3 Saturday.

Lynn (4-0) gave up one run and five hits over 5 2/3 innings in becoming the NL's first four-game winner. After the right-hander lost his control in the sixth, Kevin Siegrist retired Danny Espinosa on a two-out fly ball with the bases loaded.

''I'm not going to lie to you, my stuff was better today than it's been all year,'' Lynn said. ''That's the disappointing thing about the way the game finished for me today.''

Harper, meanwhile, was pulled after Nationals first-year manager Matt Williams questioned the manner in which the young outfielder ran out a comebacker leading off the sixth.

''Lack of hustle. That's why he came out of the game,'' Williams said. ''He and I made an agreement, this team made an agreement, that when we play the game, that we hustle at all times.''

Now in his third season, the 21-year-old Harper is one of Washington's brightest stars. The two-time All-Star once ran into a wall in the relentless pursuit of a fly ball, but on this day Harper was left explaining an act of nonchalance.

''I respect what he did,'' Harper said of Williams' decision. ''That's part of the game.''

Tony Cruz drove in two runs for the Cardinals, who have won nine of the last 10 games between the teams.

St. Louis took control with a three-run second inning fueled by third baseman Anthony Rendon's throwing error, capped by Lynn's first career extra-base hit. The Nationals, under former Gold Glove third baseman Williams, are averaging more than an error per game and lead the majors in miscues.

''I feel like we made a mistake, a couple of minor mistakes that cost us, but we were in the game,'' Williams said.

Trevor Rosenthal worked the ninth for his fifth save, but not without difficulty. Washington put runners on second and third with one out, and Kevin Frandsen drove in a run with a groundout before Rosenthal struck out Jayson Werth on three pitches.

Frandsen was batting in Harper's spot in the lineup.

''Kevin Frandsen put on a nice 'AB' against Rosenthal,'' Williams said, ''but [Harper's] spot came up with the ability to win the game. And that's a shame for his teammates.''

Said Harper: ''Man, that's tough to watch, not being able to be up there in that situation. It's something that I thrive on and I want to be in. You know, it's in the past and there's nothing we can do about it now.''

Williams said Harper would start Sunday in the series finale.

Espinosa homered for the Nationals, but he was the only player to get past first base against Lynn until the sixth.

Zimmermann (1-1) allowed four runs, only one of them earned, in seven innings. He struck out six and walked two after coming in with a 0-3 with an 8.27 ERA in six career games against the Cardinals.

Zimmermann took the loss but probably deserved a better fate. The right-hander has beaten every NL team except St. Louis and Pittsburgh (one start).

St. Louis bolted in front for good in the second inning. After Rendon threw wide on a potential force play at second, Cruz sliced a two-out, two-run single to right field and scored on a double by Lynn. It was the pitcher's first extra-base hit in 115 career at-bats and his fourth RBI.

''I was trying to hold it to a single,'' Lynn joked. ''I don't like to run.''

The tainted inning extended a series trend that began Thursday night, when the Nationals made three errors, and continued Friday when Washington scored two unearned runs in a 3-1 win.

Espinosa led off the fifth with his first home run since last May 5.

In the Washington sixth, Werth singled and Adam LaRoche walked before Rendon looked at a third strike after getting ahead in the count 3-0. Lynn then walked Ian Desmond on four pitches before Siegrist retired Espinosa.

Matt Holliday delivered a two-out RBI single for St. Louis in the seventh, and successive doubles by LaRoche and Rendon got Washington to 4-2 in the eighth.

Notes

The game drew a sellout crowd of 41,084. ... The Nationals activated OF Denard Span from the 7-day disabled list and optioned OF Steve Souza Jr. to Triple-A Syracuse. Span started in the leadoff spot and got two hits. ... Stephen Strasburg (1-2) starts for Washington on Sunday against RHP Shelby Miller (1-2), who went 2-0 against the Nationals last year. ... Cardinals manager Mike Matheny remains undecided on his starter Monday against the Mets.

 
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Lance Lynn wins his fourth straight start for the Cards, who benefit from three unearned runs against the Nats. (USATSI)
Lance Lynn wins his fourth straight start for the Cards, who benefit from three unearned runs against the Nats. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Washington

D. Espinosa
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
St. Louis

T. Cruz
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 

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St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Matt Carpenter, 3B4110012 .270
Jon Jay, CF-RF4020011 .303
Matt Holliday, LF4011012 .254
   Carlos Martinez, P0000000 .000
   Trevor Rosenthal, P0000000 .000
Matt Adams, 1B4010000 .348
Allen Craig, RF-LF2100201 .175
Jhonny Peralta, SS4100011 .183
Kolten Wong, 2B3000001 .237
   Kevin Siegrist, P0000000 .000
   Peter Bourjos, CF1000010 .200
Tony Cruz, C4122011 .444
Lance Lynn, P2011010 .125
   Mark Ellis, 2B1000010 .143
Totals3348428  
Batting
2B - Lance Lynn (1, Zimmermann)
RBI - Matt Holliday (10), Tony Cruz 2 (2), Lance Lynn (1)
2-OUT RBI - Matt Holliday (4), Tony Cruz 2 (2), Lance Lynn (1)
CS - Tony Cruz (1, 2nd base by Detwiler/Leon)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Peralta-Adams
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Lance Lynn (W,4-0) 5.2511351 3.42
Kevin Siegrist (H,5) 1100020 4.05
Carlos Martinez (H,5) 1.1211020 2.45
Trevor Rosenthal (S,5) 1011110 6.75
Pitches-Strikes - Lance Lynn 86-47, Kevin Siegrist 13-9, Carlos Martinez 17-14, Trevor Rosenthal 16-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Lance Lynn 5-6, Carlos Martinez 1-1, Trevor Rosenthal 2-1
Batters Faced - Lance Lynn 24, Kevin Siegrist 4, Carlos Martinez 6, Trevor Rosenthal 5
Washington Nationals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Denard Span, CF5020011 .244
Bryce Harper, LF3000002 .295
   Kevin Frandsen, LF2001001 .304
Jayson Werth, RF5010031 .262
Adam LaRoche, 1B3110100 .300
Anthony Rendon, 3B4021012 .324
Ian Desmond, SS3010112 .235
Danny Espinosa, 2B4111015 .273
Sandy Leon, C2000110 .154
   a-Nate McLouth, PH1000000 .074
Jordan Zimmermann, P2000011 .333
   b-Tyler Moore, PH1000010 .214
   Ross Detwiler, P0000000 .000
   c-Zach Walters, PH0100100 .400
Totals35383410  
a-fouled out for Leon in the 9th
b-struck out for Zimmermann in the 7th
c-walked for Detwiler in the 9th
Batting
2B - Adam LaRoche (3, Martinez), Anthony Rendon (6, Martinez)
HR - Danny Espinosa (1, Lynn)
RBI - Kevin Frandsen (2), Anthony Rendon (14), Danny Espinosa (2)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Kevin Frandsen 1
DP - Desmond-Espinosa-LaRoche
E - Anthony Rendon (1, Throwing)
Washington Nationals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jordan Zimmermann (L,1-1) 7741260 3.92
Ross Detwiler 2100020 0.00
HBP - Ellis (by Jordan Zimmermann)
Pitches-Strikes - Jordan Zimmermann 100-71, Ross Detwiler 19-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jordan Zimmermann 9-5
Batters Faced - Jordan Zimmermann 30, Ross Detwiler 6
Game Information
Attendance - 41084
Game Time - 2:44
Temperature - 64
Umpires - Home - Adam Hamari, First Base - Greg Gibson, Second Base - Bill Miller, Third Base - Victor Carapazza