The new-look, end-of-the-game format employed by Cardinals manager Tony La Russa Wednesday night in the second game of a day-night doubleheader worked almost without a flaw.
Right-handers Jason Motte, Eduardo Sanchez and Mitchell Boggs rattled off four innings of one-hit scoreless ball in a 5-3 win over Washington after the Nationals had roughed up right-hander Jake Westbrook in an 8-6 win in the afternoon.
Boggs gained his first save since he was in college at the University of Georgia. But it was the 22-year-old Sanchez who drew most of the raves.
A major leaguer for only a week after being brought up from Class AAA Memphis, Sanchez worked two perfect innings (the seventh and eighth) Wednesday night, giving him five big-league innings in which he has given up just two hits and no runs and fanned 10.
Veteran left-handed reliever Trever Miller said, "He acts like he's been here five or six years. He doesn't have that deer-in-the-headlight look at all."
The Cardinals' second-game win moved them into first place in the National League Central Division for the first time since last Aug. 14. Now, they are 9-9, the same mark sported by Cincinnati, Milwaukee and Chicago.
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