Ozuna homers, Cardinals beat Nationals for 8th straight win

ST. LOUIS (AP) Austin Gomber learned plenty about pressure during a 15-game stint in the St. Louis Cardinals' bullpen earlier this season.

The left-hander used that experience to his advantage on Wednesday night.

Gomber tossed six shutout innings in his fourth start of the year, Marcell Ozuna homered and the Cardinals won their season-high eighth straight game, 4-2 over the Washington Nationals.

The Cardinals, who are 18-9 since the All-Star break, captured their sixth successive series after taking the first three of the four-game set.

Gomber gave up three hits, struck out six and walked four. He wriggled out of a pair of jams while nursing a 1-0 lead.

''I think being in the bullpen kind of helped me in these situations,'' Gomber said. ''Even when the bases get loaded, I never feel any panic. It's just something that you've got to become more comfortable with.''

Gomber ended his 99-pitch outing by striking out three successive batters after giving up a leadoff double to Bryce Harper in the sixth.

''This guy gets after it,'' St. Louis interim manager Mike Shildt said. ''He's not going to back down from anyone.''

Gomber (3-0) struck out Michael A. Taylor looking with the bases loaded to end the fourth. He retired Anthony Rendon on a flyball with runners on first and third in the fifth.

Daniel Murphy homered in the ninth for Washington, which has lost four in a row and seven of nine to fall below .500 and nine games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves in the NL East. The current skid began with a loss to the Cubs on a two-out, walk-off grand slam.

''When you're in a playoff race, we've got to score first, we've got to score early,'' Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. ''We can't squander the opportunities that we get and we've been doing that.''

Ozuna homered in the second inning, his 14th of the season and his first since July 30, covering 62 plate appearances.

Harrison Bader and Yadier Molina added run-scoring hits for St. Louis, which improved to 19-9 since Mike Matheny was fired and replaced by Shildt on July 15.

Bud Norris pitched the ninth to pick up his 23rd save in 27 opportunities,

St. Louis infielder Matt Carpenter extended his on-base streak to 33 games with a walk in the fifth. It's the longest current streak in the majors. Carpenter left the game in the seventh after he was hit on the hand by a pitch from Matt Grace, but X-rays were negative.

Carpenter does not expect to miss any time.

''The pain and swelling started to go down a bit,'' Carpenter said. ''I definitely dodged a bullet there.''

Washington starter Jeremy Hellickson (5-3) left in the fifth inning after he fell on his wrist on a play at the plate following a wild pitch. Hellickson gave up three runs, two earned, on three hits in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out two and walked two.

Hellickson realizes the Nationals' chances of making the postseason are dwindling.

''We're going to need a lot of help, that's for sure,'' Hellickson said. ''We've made it pretty tough on ourselves here.''

Bader, who had three hits, also made a diving catch of a liner off the bat of Harper in the fourth. Bader scampered home on a wild pitch in the fifth inning for a 2-0 lead.

''We've known all year that we're capable of playing this type of baseball,'' Bader said. ''It's nice to see it come out in between the white lines. Everything's rolling together and we're just going to try and preserve it the best we can.''

The Cardinals, who have an NL-best 12-2 mark in August, remain one game behind Philadelphia for the second wild-card spot. They are four games behind Chicago in the NL Central.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (pinched nerve in neck) threw a simulated game on Wednesday. He threw around 70 pitches and could be ready to return from the disabled list early next week, manager Dave Martinez said.

Cardinals: LHP Brett Cecil was activated from the DL on Wednesday. Cecil, who had been sidelined with inflammation in his right foot, pitched four scoreless innings in four appearances with Triple-A Memphis. LHP Tyler Webb was optioned to Memphis.

UP NEXT

RHP Tanner Roark (7-12, 4.12) will face RHP Luke Weaver (6-10, 4.66) in the finale of the four-game series on Thursday. Roark has won his last four decisions. Weaver is 1-4 with a 5.13 ERA in nine career games against NL East foes.

---

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
WAS60-61
000000002271
STL66-55
01002100X470
  • W: A. Gomber (3-0)L: J. Hellickson (5-3)S: B. Norris (23)
  • HR: WAS - D. Murphy (6), STL - M. Ozuna (14)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
T. Turner SS50100010.268.338.411.7492.5
J. Soto LF30000100.298.420.542.9621.0
A. Rendon 3B20100202.293.352.507.8593.0
B. Harper RF40200002.239.379.510.8893.0
R. Zimmerman 1B40100013.263.332.503.8350.5
D. Murphy 2B31111111.310.354.466.8206.5
M. Taylor CF41100024.238.301.378.6792.0
S. Kieboom C30000000.190.278.228.5060.0
a- M. Adams PH10000001.261.337.518.8550.0
J. Hellickson P20000010.067.067.100.167-0.5
W. Suero P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
T. Collins P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
b- A. Eaton PH10000010.287.371.371.742-0.5
M. Grace P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
c- M. Wieters PH00010000.224.314.340.6541.0
  • a-fouled out for Kieboom in the 9th
  • b-struck out for Collins in the 7th
  • c-hit a sacrifice fly for Grace in the 9th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
M. Carpenter 1B21000100.276.390.589.9793.0
P. Wisdom PR-1B00000000.500.500.5001.0000.0
Y. Molina C30110111.288.335.471.8062.5
J. Martinez RF40100002.305.368.464.8321.0
T. O'Neill RF00000000.309.333.491.8240.0
M. Ozuna LF41111014.273.315.400.7165.5
P. DeJong SS30000102.241.321.443.7641.0
J. Gyorko 3B30000001.254.335.406.7411.0
K. Wong 2B41100014.237.322.384.7053.5
H. Bader CF41310010.280.348.431.7795.5
A. Gomber P10000000.143.143.143.2860.0
a- G. Garcia PH10000011.236.319.343.662-0.5
D. Poncedeleon P10000002.000.000.000.0000.0
B. Norris P00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
  • a-struck out for Gomber in the 6th
BATTING
  • 2B - B. Harper (21), M. Taylor (21)
  • 3B - T. Turner (5)
  • HR - D. Murphy (6)
  • SF - M. Wieters (2)
  • RBI - D. Murphy (29), M. Wieters (15)
  • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - A. Rendon 2 (2), B. Harper, M. Taylor 4 (4)
BATTING
  • 2B - H. Bader (11)
  • HR - M. Ozuna (14)
  • SH - A. Gomber
  • RBI - Y. Molina (54), M. Ozuna (64), H. Bader (22)
  • 2-Out RBI - H. Bader (6)
  • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - M. Ozuna 2 (2), K. Wong 3 (3), G. Garcia, D. Poncedeleon 2 (2)
BASERUNNING
  • SB - K. Wong (4)
FIELDING
  • E - S. Kieboom (3)
FIELDING
  • DP - (DeJong-Wong-Wisdom)
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
J. Hellickson (L, 5-3)4.13322213.571.081.0
W. Suero1.13110103.481.13-0.5
T. Collins0.10000102.511.470.5
M. Grace2.01001102.621.144.5
PITCHERSIP
J. Hellickson (L, 5-3)4.1
W. Suero1.1
T. Collins0.1
M. Grace2.0
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
A. Gomber (W, 3-0)6.03004602.891.2924.0
D. Poncedeleon2.04220112.161.020.5
B. Norris (S, 23)1.00000003.141.0710.0
PITCHERSIP
A. Gomber (W, 3-0)6.0
D. Poncedeleon2.0
B. Norris (S, 23)1.0
PITCHING
  • WP - J. Hellickson (2)
  • IBB - J. Hellickson
  • HBP - J. Hellickson (8), M. Grace (2)
  • Pitches-Strikes - J. Hellickson 72-44, W. Suero 22-15, T. Collins 4-3, M. Grace 33-23
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Hellickson 6-5, M. Grace 2-3
  • Batters Faced - J. Hellickson 19, W. Suero 7, T. Collins, M. Grace 9
PITCHING
  • WP - B. Norris (7)
  • Pitches-Strikes - A. Gomber 99-64, D. Poncedeleon 32-22, B. Norris 11-7
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A. Gomber 6-6, D. Poncedeleon 2-2
  • Batters Faced - A. Gomber 25, D. Poncedeleon 9, B. Norris 3
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
123456789RHE
WAS60-61
000000002271
STL66-55
01002100X470
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
T. Turner SS50100010.268.338.411.7492.5
J. Soto LF30000100.298.420.542.9621.0
A. Rendon 3B20100202.293.352.507.8593.0
B. Harper RF40200002.239.379.510.8893.0
R. Zimmerman 1B40100013.263.332.503.8350.5
D. Murphy 2B31111111.310.354.466.8206.5
M. Taylor CF41100024.238.301.378.6792.0
S. Kieboom C30000000.190.278.228.5060.0
a- M. Adams PH10000001.261.337.518.8550.0
J. Hellickson P20000010.067.067.100.167-0.5
W. Suero P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
T. Collins P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
b- A. Eaton PH10000010.287.371.371.742-0.5
M. Grace P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
c- M. Wieters PH00010000.224.314.340.6541.0
Total3227214713-----
  • a-fouled out for Kieboom in the 9th
  • b-struck out for Collins in the 7th
  • c-hit a sacrifice fly for Grace in the 9th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
M. Carpenter 1B21000100.276.390.589.9793.0
P. Wisdom PR-1B00000000.500.500.5001.0000.0
Y. Molina C30110111.288.335.471.8062.5
J. Martinez RF40100002.305.368.464.8321.0
T. O'Neill RF00000000.309.333.491.8240.0
M. Ozuna LF41111014.273.315.400.7165.5
P. DeJong SS30000102.241.321.443.7641.0
J. Gyorko 3B30000001.254.335.406.7411.0
K. Wong 2B41100014.237.322.384.7053.5
H. Bader CF41310010.280.348.431.7795.5
A. Gomber P10000000.143.143.143.2860.0
a- G. Garcia PH10000011.236.319.343.662-0.5
D. Poncedeleon P10000002.000.000.000.0000.0
B. Norris P00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
Total3047313517-----
  • a-struck out for Gomber in the 6th
BATTING
  • 2B - B. Harper (21), M. Taylor (21)
  • 3B - T. Turner (5)
  • HR - D. Murphy (6)
  • SF - M. Wieters (2)
  • RBI - D. Murphy (29), M. Wieters (15)
  • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - A. Rendon 2 (2), B. Harper, M. Taylor 4 (4)
BATTING
  • 2B - H. Bader (11)
  • HR - M. Ozuna (14)
  • SH - A. Gomber
  • RBI - Y. Molina (54), M. Ozuna (64), H. Bader (22)
  • 2-Out RBI - H. Bader (6)
  • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - M. Ozuna 2 (2), K. Wong 3 (3), G. Garcia, D. Poncedeleon 2 (2)
BASERUNNING
  • SB - K. Wong (4)
FIELDING
  • E - S. Kieboom (3)
FIELDING
  • DP - (DeJong-Wong-Wisdom)
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
J. Hellickson (L, 5-3)4.13322213.571.081.0
W. Suero1.13110103.481.13-0.5
T. Collins0.10000102.511.470.5
M. Grace2.01001102.621.144.5
Total8.0743351---
PITCHERSIP
J. Hellickson (L, 5-3)4.1
W. Suero1.1
T. Collins0.1
M. Grace2.0
Total8.0
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
A. Gomber (W, 3-0)6.03004602.891.2924.0
D. Poncedeleon2.04220112.161.020.5
B. Norris (S, 23)1.00000003.141.0710.0
Total9.0722471---
PITCHERSIP
A. Gomber (W, 3-0)6.0
D. Poncedeleon2.0
B. Norris (S, 23)1.0
Total9.0
PITCHING
  • WP - J. Hellickson (2)
  • IBB - J. Hellickson
  • HBP - J. Hellickson (8), M. Grace (2)
  • Pitches-Strikes - J. Hellickson 72-44, W. Suero 22-15, T. Collins 4-3, M. Grace 33-23
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Hellickson 6-5, M. Grace 2-3
  • Batters Faced - J. Hellickson 19, W. Suero 7, T. Collins, M. Grace 9
PITCHING
  • WP - B. Norris (7)
  • Pitches-Strikes - A. Gomber 99-64, D. Poncedeleon 32-22, B. Norris 11-7
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A. Gomber 6-6, D. Poncedeleon 2-2
  • Batters Faced - A. Gomber 25, D. Poncedeleon 9, B. Norris 3
  • 9TH INNING
    Wieters hit sacrifice fly to left, Taylor scored24
    Murphy homered to right center14
  • 6TH INNING
    Bader singled to left center, Wong scored04
  • 5TH INNING
    Molina singled to right, Carpenter scored03
    Bader scored, Carpenter to third on wild pitch02
  • 2ND INNING
    Ozuna homered to left01
  • 9TH INNING
    • D. Poncedeleon Pitching:
    • D. Murphy: Foul, Ball, Murphy homered to right center
    • M. Taylor: Strike looking, Foul, Taylor doubled to right
    • Matt Adams hit for Spencer Kieboom
    • Bud Norris relieved Daniel Poncedeleon
    • M. Adams: Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Adams fouled out to third
    • Matt Wieters hit for Matt Grace
    • M. Wieters: Ball, Taylor to third on wild pitch, Ball, Strike looking, Wieters hit sacrifice fly to left, Taylor scored
    • T. Turner: Foul, Turner flied out to center
    • Middle of the 9th (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 8TH INNING
    • Tyler O'Neill in right field
    • J. Soto: Strike looking, Ball, Soto lined out to shortstop
    • A. Rendon: Strike looking, Rendon singled to center
    • B. Harper: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Harper singled to left, Rendon to second
    • R. Zimmerman: Zimmerman grounded into double play shortstop to second to first, Harper out at second
    • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • M. Grace Pitching:
    • P. DeJong: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, DeJong walked
    • J. Gyorko: Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Gyorko lined out to left
    • K. Wong: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Strike swinging, Wong struck out swinging
    • H. Bader: Strike looking, Strike looking, Bader singled to right, DeJong to second
    • D. Poncedeleon: Poncedeleon grounded out to first
    • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
  • 7TH INNING
    • Daniel Poncedeleon pitching
    • S. Kieboom: Strike looking, Ball, Strike (foul tip), Foul, Foul, Kieboom grounded out to third
    • Adam Eaton hit for Tim Collins
    • A. Eaton: Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Eaton struck out swinging
    • T. Turner: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Turner popped out to shortstop
    • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • Matt Grace pitching
    • M. Carpenter: Foul, Ball, Carpenter hit by pitch
    • Patrick Wisdom ran for Matt Carpenter
    • Y. Molina: Strike looking, Foul, Molina grounded out to shortstop, Wisdom to second
    • J. Martinez: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Ball, Martinez flied out to deep center, Wisdom to third
    • M. Ozuna: Ball, Ozuna flied out to center
    • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 6TH INNING
    • A. Gomber Pitching:
    • B. Harper: Foul, Ball, Harper doubled to deep right
    • R. Zimmerman: Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Zimmerman struck out swinging
    • D. Murphy: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Murphy struck out swinging
    • M. Taylor: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Taylor struck out swinging
    • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
    • W. Suero Pitching:
    • P. DeJong: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, DeJong lined out to left
    • J. Gyorko: Ball, Gyorko flied out to right
    • K. Wong: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Wong singled to shallow right center
    • H. Bader: Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Wong stole second, Strike looking, Bader singled to left center, Wong scored
    • Greg Garcia hit for Austin Gomber
    • Tim Collins relieved Wander Suero
    • G. Garcia: Strike looking, Strike (foul tip), Pickoff attempt, Ball, Strike looking, Garcia struck out looking
    • End of the 6th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 5TH INNING
    • A. Gomber Pitching:
    • S. Kieboom: Ball, Kieboom grounded out to pitcher
    • J. Hellickson: Ball, Hellickson flied out to center
    • T. Turner: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Turner tripled to deep right
    • J. Soto: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Soto walked
    • A. Rendon: Rendon flied out to deep right
    • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
    • J. Hellickson Pitching:
    • H. Bader: Foul, Ball, Foul, Bader doubled to deep center
    • A. Gomber: Ball, Foul, Gomber hit sacrifice bunt to catcher, Bader to third
    • M. Carpenter: Carpenter intentionally walked
    • Y. Molina: Strike looking, Ball, Pickoff attempt to first, Strike (foul tip), Ball, Bader scored, Carpenter to third on wild pitch
    • Molina singled to right, Carpenter scored
    • J. Martinez: Foul, Martinez fouled out to first
    • M. Ozuna: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ozuna struck out swinging
    • End of the 5th (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 1 Error)
  • 4TH INNING
    • A. Gomber Pitching:
    • J. Soto: Soto flied out to left
    • A. Rendon: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Rendon walked
    • B. Harper: Foul, Strike looking, Harper lined out to center
    • R. Zimmerman: Strike looking, Strike looking, Zimmerman singled to shallow center, Rendon to second
    • D. Murphy: Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Murphy walked, Rendon to third, Zimmerman to second
    • M. Taylor: Strike swinging, Strike looking, Strike looking, Taylor struck out looking
    • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
    • J. Hellickson Pitching:
    • Y. Molina: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Molina walked
    • J. Martinez: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Martinez singled to shallow right, Molina to second
    • M. Ozuna: Ball, Ozuna reached on fielder's choice to third, Molina out at third, Martinez to second
    • P. DeJong: Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, DeJong grounded out to third, Martinez to third, Ozuna to second
    • J. Gyorko: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Gyorko hit by pitch
    • K. Wong: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Wong popped out to shortstop
    • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
  • 3RD INNING
    • A. Gomber Pitching:
    • S. Kieboom: Strike looking, Kieboom grounded out to shortstop
    • J. Hellickson: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike looking, Hellickson struck out looking
    • T. Turner: Ball, Strike swinging, Turner grounded out to third
    • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • J. Hellickson Pitching:
    • H. Bader: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Bader struck out swinging
    • A. Gomber: Strike looking, Gomber grounded out to pitcher
    • M. Carpenter: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Carpenter lined out to first
    • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 2ND INNING
    • A. Gomber Pitching:
    • R. Zimmerman: Ball, Foul, Zimmerman flied out to deep center
    • D. Murphy: Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Murphy grounded out to second
    • M. Taylor: Taylor popped out to shortstop
    • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • J. Hellickson Pitching:
    • M. Ozuna: Ball, Ozuna homered to left
    • P. DeJong: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, DeJong grounded out to third
    • J. Gyorko: Foul, Gyorko lined out to right
    • K. Wong: Wong lined out to shortstop
    • End of the 2nd (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
  • 1ST INNING
    • A. Gomber Pitching:
    • T. Turner: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Turner struck out swinging
    • J. Soto: Strike swinging, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Soto grounded out to second
    • A. Rendon: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Rendon walked
    • B. Harper: Ball, Harper grounded out to second
    • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • J. Hellickson Pitching:
    • M. Carpenter: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Ball, Carpenter flied out to left
    • Y. Molina: Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Molina struck out swinging
    • J. Martinez: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Martinez grounded out to second
    • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)