Sánchez shines as Nationals beat Cards 2-0 in NLCS opener

ST. LOUIS (AP) It turns out Washington's Big Three is a Big Four.

Don't forget about Anibal Sanchez.

The right-hander carried a no-hit bid into the eighth inning, Howie Kendrick had two more big swings and the Nationals beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-0 on Friday night in the NL Championship Series opener.

''Tonight was obviously vintage Anibal,'' first baseman Ryan Zimmerman said.

Sanchez had allowed just three runners when he took the mound for the eighth. Zimmerman robbed Tommy Edman with an outstanding diving grab at full stretch for the first out, but pinch-hitter Jose Martinez cleanly singled to center with two down for the Cardinals' first hit.

''I just tried to keep focused on every pitch that I'm going to throw,'' Sanchez said. ''I don't want to miss any kind of pitch in the middle in the zone against those guys.''

Sanchez thought he was going to finish the no-hitter after the big grab.

''When Zimmerman caught the ball I said, `OK, I've got it,''' the pitcher recalled.

Sean Doolittle relieved and got four straight outs to finish the one-hitter for his first postseason save in two years.

Sanchez and Doolittle made life easy on manager Dave Martinez after the Nationals placed closer Daniel Hudson on the paternity list before the franchise's first appearance in the NLCS since the Montreal Expos moved to Washington ahead of the 2005 season.

''I think the mood of the guys in the bullpen, we really wanted to find a way to pick him up and allow him to enjoy a really special moment with his wife and his family,'' Doolittle said.

Game 2 is back at Busch Stadium on Saturday. Washington ace Max Scherzer starts in his hometown, and Adam Wainwright gets the ball for St. Louis. Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin will follow when the series moves to Nationals Park.

''People were talking about the Big Three,'' Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said, ''but we got a guy tonight that we got to contend with and not overlook him.''

St. Louis wasted a solid performance by Miles Mikolas, who pitched six innings of one-run ball in his second career playoff start.

Washington scored each of its runs with two outs. Kendrick doubled and came home on Yan Gomes' double in the second. Kendrick then singled in Adam Eaton in the seventh after Eaton reached on a one-out triple against Giovanny Gallegos.

Kendrick also had the big blow in Washington's Game 5 victory at Los Angeles on Wednesday night, a 10th-inning grand slam.

''It's going to be a fun series,'' Kendrick said. ''Hopefully we can continue to play really good baseball and put up runs and get some wins.''

Gomes finished with two hits while subbing for catcher Kurt Suzuki, who left the Nationals' clinching victory against the Dodgers with a head injury.

Sanchez became the first pitcher to start two postseason games with six hitless innings. Facing Boston for Detroit in the 2013 AL Championship Series opener, he was replaced by Al Alburquerque at the start of the seventh. The Tigers won 1-0, allowing their only hit when Daniel Nava singled off Joaquin Benoit with one out in the ninth.

Sanchez got his first playoff win since he struck out 12 in that game. He threw a no-hitter for the Florida Marlins in his 13th big league start as a rookie in 2006 and also has pitched four one-hitters.

He started this year 0-6 in his first nine starts but went 11-2 in his final 19.

For a while, it looked as if he might be headed to the third no-hitter in postseason history.

''He was good,'' Edman said. ''He was just hitting his spots and keeping us off balance all night, and we just didn't execute our plan very well.''

Sanchez retired his first 10 batters before Kolten Wong walked in the fourth on a chilly, breezy evening.

Wong stole second and took third on Gomes' throwing error, but Marcell Ozuna hit an inning-ending foulout.

Pinch-hitter Randy Arozarena was hit by a pitch with one out in the sixth, but the 35-year-old Sanchez retired Dexter Fowler and Wong. He plunked Yadier Molina in the seventh before Matt Carpenter bounced out.

''He was spot on with everything he threw today,'' Gomes said.

Sanchez struck out five in his ninth career postseason start. He threw 67 of 103 pitches for strikes.

WORTH REMEMBERING

Mikolas retired Juan Soto on a bouncer to second for the final out of the fifth, leaving the bases loaded. The pitcher then grabbed his crotch briefly in the direction of the slugger.

''To me it's not good,'' Soto said. ''I don't care. He can do whatever he wants. We're going to keep going.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: Suzuki and OF Victor Robles (strained right hamstring) were out of the starting lineup after they got hurt in the Division Series. Dave Martinez said Robles is about 80 to 85 percent. ''To me it's worth him missing another day or two to get him fully back, hopefully,'' he said.

UP NEXT

Scherzer struck out 10 while pitching eight innings of one-run ball against the Dodgers. Wainwright threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings in Game 3 of the NLDS against the Braves.

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Jay Cohen can be reached at https://twitter.com/jcohenap

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Copyright 2019 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
0100001002101
000000000010
  • W: A. Sanchez (1-0)L: M. Mikolas (1-1)S: S. Doolittle (1)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
T. Turner SS50100010.267.313.467.7790.5
A. Eaton RF51100022.167.310.250.5603.0
A. Rendon 3B30100210.348.452.6091.0602.5
J. Soto LF50100026.259.355.481.8360.0
H. Kendrick 2B41210100.296.345.444.7896.0
R. Zimmerman 1B40200113.368.400.6321.0323.5
M. Taylor CF40000026.250.333.250.583-1.0
Y. Gomes C30210110.333.455.444.8994.5
A. Sanchez P40000024.000.000.000.000-1.0
S. Doolittle P00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    D. Fowler CF40000012.077.143.115.258-0.5
    C. Martinez P00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
    K. Wong 2B30000101.217.308.348.6563.0
    P. Goldschmidt 1B40000001.360.407.7601.1670.0
    M. Ozuna LF40000011.360.407.7201.127-0.5
    Y. Molina C20000000.130.192.130.3231.0
    M. Carpenter 3B30000011.125.333.125.458-0.5
    T. Edman RF30000000.273.333.500.8330.0
    P. DeJong SS30000020.190.261.238.499-1.0
    M. Mikolas P10000010.500.5001.0001.500-0.5
    a- R. Arozarena PH00000000.000.250.000.2503.0
    G. Gallegos P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    A. Miller P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    J. Brebbia P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    R. Helsley P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    b- J. Martinez PH10100000.750.750.7501.5001.0
    T. Webb P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    H. Bader CF00000000.200.200.200.4000.0
    • a-hit by pitch for Mikolas in the 6th
    • b-singled for Helsley in the 8th
    BATTING
    • 2B - H. Kendrick, R. Zimmerman (2), Y. Gomes
    • 3B - A. Eaton
    • RBI - H. Kendrick (6), Y. Gomes
    • 2-Out RBI - H. Kendrick, Y. Gomes
    • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Soto 2 (2), R. Zimmerman, M. Taylor 2 (2), A. Sanchez 2 (2)
    BATTING
    • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - D. Fowler, K. Wong, M. Ozuna, M. Carpenter
    BASERUNNING
    • SB - K. Wong, R. Arozarena
    FIELDING
    • E - Y. Gomes
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    A. Sanchez (W, 1-0)7.21001500.710.6329.5
    S. Doolittle (S, 1)1.10000101.930.2110.5
    PITCHERSIP
    A. Sanchez (W, 1-0)7.2
    S. Doolittle (S, 1)1.1
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    M. Mikolas (L, 1-1)6.07112701.501.179.5
    G. Gallegos0.11111003.862.14-3.0
    A. Miller0.10000100.000.860.5
    J. Brebbia0.11001000.002.14-2.0
    R. Helsley1.00000200.000.434.0
    T. Webb0.21000103.381.50-0.5
    C. Martinez0.100011014.732.73-0.5
    PITCHING
    • HBP - A. Sanchez 2 (2)
    • Pitches-Strikes - A. Sanchez 103-67, S. Doolittle 15-10
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A. Sanchez 5-13, S. Doolittle 3-0
    • Batters Faced - A. Sanchez 27, S. Doolittle 4
    PITCHING
    • WP - C. Martinez
    • IBB - M. Mikolas, G. Gallegos, C. Martinez (2)
    • Pitches-Strikes - M. Mikolas 98-67, G. Gallegos 11-7, A. Miller 7-4, J. Brebbia 18-10, R. Helsley 13-8, T. Webb 13-10, C. Martinez 7-4
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - M. Mikolas 8-3, R. Helsley 1-0, T. Webb 1-0
    • Batters Faced - M. Mikolas 27, G. Gallegos 3, A. Miller, J. Brebbia 3, R. Helsley 3, T. Webb 3, C. Martinez 2
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    0100001002101
    000000000010
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    T. Turner SS50100010.267.313.467.7790.5
    A. Eaton RF51100022.167.310.250.5603.0
    A. Rendon 3B30100210.348.452.6091.0602.5
    J. Soto LF50100026.259.355.481.8360.0
    H. Kendrick 2B41210100.296.345.444.7896.0
    R. Zimmerman 1B40200113.368.400.6321.0323.5
    M. Taylor CF40000026.250.333.250.583-1.0
    Y. Gomes C30210110.333.455.444.8994.5
    A. Sanchez P40000024.000.000.000.000-1.0
    S. Doolittle P00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
    Total372102051221-----
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      D. Fowler CF40000012.077.143.115.258-0.5
      C. Martinez P00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
      K. Wong 2B30000101.217.308.348.6563.0
      P. Goldschmidt 1B40000001.360.407.7601.1670.0
      M. Ozuna LF40000011.360.407.7201.127-0.5
      Y. Molina C20000000.130.192.130.3231.0
      M. Carpenter 3B30000011.125.333.125.458-0.5
      T. Edman RF30000000.273.333.500.8330.0
      P. DeJong SS30000020.190.261.238.499-1.0
      M. Mikolas P10000010.500.5001.0001.500-0.5
      a- R. Arozarena PH00000000.000.250.000.2503.0
      G. Gallegos P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      A. Miller P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      J. Brebbia P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      R. Helsley P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      b- J. Martinez PH10100000.750.750.7501.5001.0
      T. Webb P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      H. Bader CF00000000.200.200.200.4000.0
      Total280100166-----
      • a-hit by pitch for Mikolas in the 6th
      • b-singled for Helsley in the 8th
      BATTING
      • 2B - H. Kendrick, R. Zimmerman (2), Y. Gomes
      • 3B - A. Eaton
      • RBI - H. Kendrick (6), Y. Gomes
      • 2-Out RBI - H. Kendrick, Y. Gomes
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Soto 2 (2), R. Zimmerman, M. Taylor 2 (2), A. Sanchez 2 (2)
      BATTING
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - D. Fowler, K. Wong, M. Ozuna, M. Carpenter
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - K. Wong, R. Arozarena
      FIELDING
      • E - Y. Gomes
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      A. Sanchez (W, 1-0)7.21001500.710.6329.5
      S. Doolittle (S, 1)1.10000101.930.2110.5
      Total9.0100160---
      PITCHERSIP
      A. Sanchez (W, 1-0)7.2
      S. Doolittle (S, 1)1.1
      Total9.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      M. Mikolas (L, 1-1)6.07112701.501.179.5
      G. Gallegos0.11111003.862.14-3.0
      A. Miller0.10000100.000.860.5
      J. Brebbia0.11001000.002.14-2.0
      R. Helsley1.00000200.000.434.0
      T. Webb0.21000103.381.50-0.5
      C. Martinez0.100011014.732.73-0.5
      Total9.010225120---
      PITCHERSIP
      M. Mikolas (L, 1-1)6.0
      G. Gallegos0.1
      A. Miller0.1
      J. Brebbia0.1
      R. Helsley1.0
      T. Webb0.2
      C. Martinez0.1
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • HBP - A. Sanchez 2 (2)
      • Pitches-Strikes - A. Sanchez 103-67, S. Doolittle 15-10
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A. Sanchez 5-13, S. Doolittle 3-0
      • Batters Faced - A. Sanchez 27, S. Doolittle 4
      PITCHING
      • WP - C. Martinez
      • IBB - M. Mikolas, G. Gallegos, C. Martinez (2)
      • Pitches-Strikes - M. Mikolas 98-67, G. Gallegos 11-7, A. Miller 7-4, J. Brebbia 18-10, R. Helsley 13-8, T. Webb 13-10, C. Martinez 7-4
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - M. Mikolas 8-3, R. Helsley 1-0, T. Webb 1-0
      • Batters Faced - M. Mikolas 27, G. Gallegos 3, A. Miller, J. Brebbia 3, R. Helsley 3, T. Webb 3, C. Martinez 2
      • 7TH INNING
        Kendrick singled to shallow center, Eaton scored, Rendon to second20
      • 2ND INNING
        Gomes doubled to deep center, Kendrick scored10
      • 9TH INNING
        • Tyler Webb pitching
        • A. Eaton: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Eaton grounded out to third
        • A. Rendon: Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Rendon struck out swinging
        • J. Soto: Strike looking, Soto singled to right
        • Carlos Martinez pitching
        • Harrison Bader in center field
        • H. Kendrick: Ball, Soto to second on wild pitch, Kendrick intentionally walked
        • R. Zimmerman: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Zimmerman struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • S. Doolittle Pitching:
        • K. Wong: Wong grounded bunt out to pitcher
        • P. Goldschmidt: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Goldschmidt grounded out to first
        • M. Ozuna: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Ozuna struck out swinging
        • End of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 8TH INNING
        • Ryan Helsley relieved John Brebbia
        • Y. Gomes: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Gomes struck out swinging
        • A. Sanchez: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Sanchez struck out swinging
        • T. Turner: Ball, Turner grounded out to shortstop
        • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • A. Sanchez Pitching:
        • T. Edman: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Edman lined out to first
        • P. DeJong: DeJong flied out to center
        • Jose Martinez hit for Ryan Helsley
        • J. Martinez: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Martinez singled to center
        • Sean Doolittle relieved Anibal Sanchez
        • D. Fowler: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Fowler grounded out to third
        • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 7TH INNING
        • Giovanny Gallegos pitching
        • T. Turner: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Turner lined out to pitcher
        • A. Eaton: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Eaton tripled to left center
        • A. Rendon: Rendon intentionally walked
        • Andrew Miller relieved Giovanny Gallegos
        • J. Soto: Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Soto struck out swinging
        • John Brebbia relieved Andrew Miller
        • H. Kendrick: Ball, Kendrick singled to shallow center, Eaton scored, Rendon to second
        • R. Zimmerman: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Zimmerman walked, Rendon to third, Kendrick to second
        • M. Taylor: Foul, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Taylor flied out to deep center
        • Middle of the 7th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • A. Sanchez Pitching:
        • P. Goldschmidt: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Goldschmidt popped out to shortstop
        • M. Ozuna: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ozuna flied out to right
        • Y. Molina: Foul, Foul, Ball, Molina hit by pitch
        • M. Carpenter: Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Carpenter grounded out to first
        • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 6TH INNING
        • M. Mikolas Pitching:
        • H. Kendrick: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Kendrick grounded out to shortstop
        • R. Zimmerman: Strike looking, Zimmerman doubled to left center
        • M. Taylor: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Taylor struck out swinging
        • Y. Gomes: Gomes intentionally walked
        • A. Sanchez: Ball, Sanchez reached on fielder's choice to shortstop, Gomes out at second
        • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • A. Sanchez Pitching:
        • P. DeJong: Strike (foul tip), Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, DeJong struck out swinging
        • Randy Arozarena hit for Miles Mikolas
        • R. Arozarena: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Arozarena hit by pitch
        • D. Fowler: Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Ball, Arozarena stole second, Pickoff attempt, Fowler grounded out to second, Arozarena to third
        • K. Wong: Foul, Wong lined out to center
        • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 5TH INNING
        • M. Mikolas Pitching:
        • Y. Gomes: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Gomes singled to left
        • A. Sanchez: Foul, Strike swinging, Foul, Sanchez struck out bunting foul
        • T. Turner: Strike swinging, Ball, Turner singled to left, Gomes to second
        • A. Eaton: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Eaton popped out to shortstop
        • A. Rendon: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Rendon walked, Gomes to third, Turner to second
        • J. Soto: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Soto grounded out to second
        • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • A. Sanchez Pitching:
        • Y. Molina: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Molina grounded out to shortstop
        • M. Carpenter: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Foul tip, Carpenter struck out on foul tip
        • T. Edman: Edman flied out to center
        • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 4TH INNING
        • M. Mikolas Pitching:
        • J. Soto: Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Soto grounded out to shortstop
        • H. Kendrick: Foul, Ball, Kendrick grounded out to shortstop
        • R. Zimmerman: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Zimmerman singled to left
        • M. Taylor: Taylor grounded bunt out to catcher
        • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 1 Error)
        • A. Sanchez Pitching:
        • D. Fowler: Fowler flied out to center
        • K. Wong: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Wong walked
        • P. Goldschmidt: Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Goldschmidt flied out to center
        • M. Ozuna: Ball, Wong stole second, Wong to third on catcher Gomes throwing error, Ozuna fouled out to third
        • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • M. Mikolas Pitching:
        • T. Turner: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Turner fouled out to right
        • A. Eaton: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Eaton struck out looking
        • A. Rendon: Strike looking, Ball, Rendon flied out to deep center
        • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • A. Sanchez Pitching:
        • T. Edman: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Edman flied out to center
        • P. DeJong: Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul tip, DeJong struck out on foul tip
        • M. Mikolas: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Mikolas struck out swinging
        • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 2ND INNING
        • M. Mikolas Pitching:
        • H. Kendrick: Ball, Kendrick doubled to deep right center
        • R. Zimmerman: Strike swinging, Zimmerman grounded out to third
        • M. Taylor: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Taylor struck out swinging
        • Y. Gomes: Ball, Gomes doubled to deep center, Kendrick scored
        • A. Sanchez: Foul, Strike looking, Foul, Sanchez grounded out to shortstop
        • Middle of the 2nd (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • A. Sanchez Pitching:
        • M. Ozuna: Strike looking, Ball, Ozuna flied out to deep center
        • Y. Molina: Strike looking, Ball, Molina flied out to center
        • M. Carpenter: Carpenter grounded bunt out to third
        • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • M. Mikolas Pitching:
        • T. Turner: Strike looking, Foul, Foul tip, Turner struck out on foul tip
        • A. Eaton: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Eaton struck out swinging
        • A. Rendon: Strike looking, Rendon singled to shallow left
        • J. Soto: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Soto struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • A. Sanchez Pitching:
        • D. Fowler: Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Fowler struck out swinging
        • K. Wong: Ball, Foul, Wong grounded out to second
        • P. Goldschmidt: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Goldschmidt flied out to shallow right
        • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)