(BaseballStL) — First inning struggles continue to plague the Nationals, but the entire game was a carnival of horrors for Washington pitchers.
The Cardinals didn’t do anything to ease Washington's first inning pain Thursday, scoring three runs before the Nationals even came up to bat.
Matt Carpenter reached on an error to shortstop Ian Desmond, Kolten Wong reached on a tapper to the pitcher and Matt Holliday started the action with an 0-2 double to left. Carpenter came around to score and Wong moved to third, on the hit.
Matt Adams notched his third RBI of the season when he grounded out to score Wong. The Nationals brought the infield in down 2-0, and Yadier Molina responded by poking a grounder through the infield to score Holliday.
Ian Desmond's day would get worse in the fourth, as the Cardinals pecked away at starter Taylor Jordan again. It began with a one-out double by Jhonny Peralta.
Then, Desmond picked up his seventh error of the season on Jon Jay's ground ball, when his poor throw allowed Jay to reach and moved Peralta to third.
The next pitch, Desmond fielded Wainwright's grounder, but second baseman Danny Espinosa dropped the ball on the exchange while trying for a double play. Not only did the drop score Peralta, but under new MLB rules, the umpires were able to decide Jay was safe at second.
Despite the frustration, Jordan escaped the inning without further incident. His blood pressure would rise again in the sixth, when the Cardinals started another rally. After Jordan hit Jay, Desmond would continue his forgettable day. Wainwright again grounded to short, and though the he fielded the ball, Desmond couldn't decide where to throw and all parties were safe.
Jordan walked Carpenter as his last act of a frustrating start, and reliver Blake Treinen struck out Wong in what appeared to be a turning point for the Nationals. Holliday disabused them of the notion, singling in a run with a liner to left.
Adams then knocked the wheels off the bus with a rope to center that scored two.
In the seventh, the Cards loaded the bases again, scoring one on a Wong single, before Shane Robinson struck out to end the threat.
Adam Wainwright cruised throughout, striking out eight while going the distance. He allowed only two hits, and at one point retired 18 straight hitters.