(BaseballStL) -- It wasn't always pretty as the Cardinals did everything they could to give the Nationals the win in the final innings, but a good start from Lance Lynn gave the Cards a chance in their 4-3 win.
Lynn had a strong afternoon going 5.2 innings, fanning 5 batters. His biggest blemish on the afternoon was a blast from Danny Espinosa to center. It was the only run he would allow.
Kevin Siegrist came in to relieve Lynn in the bottom of the sixth with the bases loaded and two outs. He would hold onto the two run lead by getting a fly ball to end the threat.
But Carlos Martinez gave up an RBI double to Anthony Rendon in the bottom of the eighth and trouble would continue for the Redbirds into the ninth when Trevor Rosenthal took a line drive off his back and was unable to get an out at second. The runners moved up a base after a balk. But then Rosenthal got Jayson Werth to strike out to hold onto the win.
This series has been plagued by fielding errors and the Redbirds were able to take advantage this time. An error in the second for the Nats gave Tony Cruz, starting in place of Yadier Molina, a chance to single in Allen Craig and Jhonny Peralta. Lynn then took a page out of Adam Wainwright’s book by flexing his muscles at the plate. He blasted a double down the right field line that scored Cruz all the way from first, giving the Cards a 3-0 lead.
Espinosa’s homer in the fifth was the only damage done after a flash of leather from Craig, diving to robbing Denard Spann of a hit.
Jon Jay continues to get more playing time in center field and has proved he’s worthy by hitting. Saturday, Jay improved his hit streak to six game by adding two more hits. And in what would turn out to be the winning run, Matt Holliday brought Matt Carpenter around in the seventh to give the Cards 4 runs for the afternoon.
Saturday's win takes Lynn to a 4-0 record and the Redbirds are 2-0 when Cruz starts. The offense gave Lynn only 3 runs making it the least amount of runs they've scored when Lynn starts the game.
Cruz continues to make a solid impression on manager Mike Matheny.
"He did a great job with Lance again and all the way through the back end of our pen," Matheny said, "It's amazing to watch him, knowing how hard that job is to do when you don't get to play very often at all."
Sunday pits Shelby Miller against Stephen Strasburg.