E: 17, 115:
To be fair to Cristian Guzman, Albert Pujols, who was running from second, did momentarily block his view, stopping, before running to third, so that Guzman didn't see the ball hit toward short off Ryan Ludwick's bat until it passed the big Cardinals' slugger, but the Nationals' shortstop was still given a two-out error when it bounced off his knee and into center. Pujols scored from first on Guzman's 17th E of '09, which also ended Stammen's night, and Matt Holliday went first to third to put two on for Colby Rasmus, who launched a two-out, three-run HR to right of Washington's lefty reliever Ron Villone to put St. Louis up 7-2 after five innings of play tonight in Busch Stadium.
DC starter Craig Stammen didn't make it out of the fifth. Nationals' Manager Jim Riggleman lifted Stammen after he allowed 4 hits, 4 walks and 6 runs, the three scored after Guzman's E unearned of course, but still on the board, and the other three earned with one swing when Matt Holliday took umbrage with the intentional walk of Albert Pujols that preceded his AB and hit a 3-run HR of his own on a first-pitch fastball from Stammen that didn't quite make it all the way inside. It was 3-1 Cardinals at that point, 5-2 after Rasmus' blast and 9-3 after back to back RBI hits by Brendan Ryan and Albert Pujols in the sixth, and a 9-4 final after Ryan Zimmerman's RBI single in the seventh ended the scoring. Cardinals right-hander Mitchell Boggs (2-2, 4.57) got his second win of the season for 6.0 innings of work over which he allowed 8 hits, 1 BB, 3 ER and 1 HR. St. Louis' skipper Tony LaRussa uses four separate pitchers with a 9-3 lead, but who can blame the Cardinals for making sure they get the win with the post season at stake...
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Check Out The SB Nation's St. Louis Cardinals Blog: Viva El Birdos GameThread.
• "Perfect" Pete Orr Goes 4 for 4.
For the Completists, Full Game Reports After The JUMP...
Nationals now 46-84. (Countdown To 100 Losses Stands At...16)
Mitchell Boggs, the Cards' hard-throwing right-hander will probably think twice before he throws Adam Dunn a first-pitch fastball waist high over the outside edge of the plate again, since it was hit so far the St. Louis fans had time to, "Ahhhh!" as it soared out to right. Dunn's no-doubter is the Nationals' big boppers' 35th of the season, five off his trademark total with 32 games to go. In 21 games and 92 plate appearances in April, Dunn hits 6 HR's, in 29 games and 126 plate appearances in May, Dunn connected for 10, 4 in 26 games and 108 PA's in June, and 6 in 26 games and 101 plate appearances in July, with 9 HR's (so far) in August and thirty-two games to go...Does anyone doubt Dunn does it? NEW POLL!!!
• "Perfect" Pete Orr Goes 4 for 4.
I made the mistake of calling "Pinch Hittin'" Pete Orr a gritty hustler who was "wholly unspectacular" but nonetheless a favorite everywhere he plays because of the effort he puts out each and every game and Orr went out and collected 4 hits in 4 at bats tonight, all singles, to prove his worth and my point.
Washington Nationals At St. Louis Cardinals. Game 130 Of 162.
Cards’ right-hander Mitchell Boggs gets a groundout to first from Willie Harris to start the second of three in St. Louis. Cristian Guzman legs out a triple on a sharp grounder that gets by Pujols at first and rolls into the corner. Ryan Zimmerman flies to the track in right allowing Guzman to tag and score. 1-0 Nationals. Adam Dunn archs a line drive over Mark DeRosa at short for a two-out single. Mitchell Boggs gets Josh Willingham to chase a two-strike slider out of the zone...Skip Schumaker doubles into the left field gap off DC right-hander Craig Stammen to start the Cards’ first. Brendan Ryan grounds to short and Schumaker breaks for third and gets cut down, Zimmerman with the tag. Alberto Pujols pops out to Adam Dunn foul of first. Ryan Zimmerman catches a pop fly from Matt Holliday in front of the third base dugout. 1-0 DC after one.
Elijah Dukes grounds out to short to start the second. Pete Orr lines a single to center with one down. Wil Nieves grounds back to the mound, Boggs to Schumaker to Pujols, double play...Ryan Ludwick starts the St. Louis' second with a base on balls. Colby Rasmus grounds into a force at second. Rasmus steals second without a throw when Wil Nieves rushes and loses it. Stammen issues a two-out walk to Mark DeRosa. Jason LaRue pops out to third, and Stammen gets Boggs looking at a two-strike curve.
Craig Stammen grounds out to short. Willie Harris hits a one-out single over second that drops into the grass. Cristian Guzman grounds to first, Albert Pujols throws to second to get Harris, but Guzman’s safe at first. Ryan Zimmerman grounds to short and DeRosa takes the force at second...Skip Schumaker gets robbed by a sprinting Willie Harris, who gets to left center on a hard hit liner. Brendan Ryan singles up the middle with one down. Stammen throws a high full-count fastball to walk Pujols. Stammen doesn’t keep his fastball low enough and Holliday lifts it off the inside corner for a three-run blast. 3-1 Cardinals. Stammen gets Ryan Ludwick swinging. Colby Rasmus flies to left to end the third. 3-1 Cards.
Adam Dunn pops out to the catcher. Josh Willingham takes a full count fastball down low for a one-out walk. Elijah Dukes rips a single through short. Pete Orr goes the other way to load the bases on a line drive to left. Wil Nieves grounds out to score Hammer from third, 3-2. Craig Stammen pops out to end the inning...Cristian Guzman throws out Mark DeRosa. Jason LaRue can’t swing at a two-strike slider that breaks across the zone for strike three. Mitchell Boggs K’s looking too.
Willie Harris flies out to left field to start the fifth. Cristian Guzman grounds to first, Boggs gets over to cover. Ryan Ludwick goes back to the wall to catch Ryan Zimmerman’s fly ball...Stammen vs Schumaker in the fifth. Schumaker grounds out to second. Brendan Ryan flies out to Willie Harris in the right-center gap. Albert Pujols torches a double to left, one hop and off the wall with two down. Holliday gets a free pass. Ryan Ludwick grounds to short, and Pujols blocks Guzman’s view, the ball bounces off Guzman and flies into center, one run scores, 4-2 Cards. Ron Villone comes on to face the lefty Colby Rasmus. Rasmus destroys a fastball over the middle of the plate, GONE!! 3-run HR to right. DeRosa lines out to end the frame. 7-2 Cardinals.
Adam Dun---SHAKE N BAKE!! SHAKE N BAKE!!! Adam Dunn goes real deep to right for his 35th HR of the year. 7-3 Cardinals. Elijah Dukes pops out to first. Pete Orr hits a two-out double to right. Wil Nieves is robbed by a diving Skip Schumaker at second, 7-3 Cardinals, middle of six...Jorge Sosa takes over for DC. Jason LaRue pops out to Pete Orr at second. Pinch hitter Joe Thurston pops out. Skip Schumaker doubles to the left field corner. Brendan Ryan gets a single through second to score Schumaker, 8-3 Cardinals. Albert Pujols doubles in a run off the center field wall, 9-3 Cardinals. Holliday grounds out to second to mercifully end the sixth.
Mike Morse grounds out to start the seventh. Kyle McClellan on to pitch for St. Louis. Willie Harris works a one-out walk. Cristian Guzman splits the right-center gap with a low line drive single. Zimmerman singles through short, Harris scores from second, 9-4 St. Louis. Lefty Trever Miller on to face Dunn. Adam Dunn lines out to Ludwick in right. Josh Willingham will see a new pitcher. Jason Motte vs The Hammer. Motte walks Willingham to load the bases for Dukes. Dukes K’s looking at two pitches out of the zone...Saul Rivera gets a groundout from Ryan Ludwick to start the Cards’ seventh. Colby Rasmus goes opposite field with a line drive single to left. Mark DeRosa follows with a single to right. LaRue grounds to short, Guzman to Orr to Dunn at first, double play.
Motte’s back in the eighth. Pete Orr hits a broken bat single to center. Wil Nieves K’s swinging over a two-strike curve. Ronnie Belliard grounds into the inning-ender, DP by the Cards to end DC’s eighth...Jason Bergmann comes on for the Nationals. Rick Ankiel takes a leadoff walk. Skip Schumaker lines to right for a single. Brendan Ryan grounds out but moves both runners over, opening up first for Pujols, who gets the intentionals. Matt Holliday goes down swinging. Ryan Ludwick goes down chasing, 9-4 Cardinals after eight.
Willie Harris vs Brad Thompson. Harris takes strike three on a fastball up high. Cristian Guzman pops out to second. Ryan Zimmerman’s bat explodes as he grounds out to first, game over. Cards win, 9-4 final.
Nationals now 46-84.