The now-26-24 St. Louis Cardinals started the night on Saturday with a .297 AVG as a team with runners in scoring position.
That was up to .301 after they went 5 for 11 with RISP last night in their 9-4 win over the Washington Nationals in Nationals Park.
Three of those five hits came in a 40-pitch, four-run fourth inning against Nats' lefty Gio Gonzalez, when the Cards got an RBI single by Greg Garcia and back-to-back RBI doubles by pitcher Adam Wainwright and first baseman Matt Carpenter.
All that damage was done with two outs as well. And it came after Gonzalez allowed two walks that started the Cards' big frame.
"He had the two walks," Dusty Baker told reporters after the loss, "which got his pitch count up and hurt and that led to -- you know that was a big inning, the four runs that inning and then it really hurt when Wainwright hit the double.
"These guys are getting a bunch of two-out RBI hits against us and they're really hitting with runners in scoring position. I mean, we knew that they could hit and it's not that easy to hit with runners in scoring position.
"Perhaps, it's was probably location more than anything and he had two strikes on a couple of guys."
"That out pitch, we didn’t have it today with two strikes," catcher Jose Lobaton told reporters, including the Washington Post's Chelsea Janes.
"We needed that fastball in or that curveball in the dirt. And sometimes he threw some curveballs that really got in the dirt, and they didn’t swing."
The thirteen earned runs Gonzalez has now allowed in 9 ⅔ innings in his last two starts, are more than he gave up in his previous eight starts and 48 ⅓ IP (14 R, 10 ER) and the four home runs he's surrendered are more than he gave up over that stretch as well (3 HR).
"I can’t stand it," Gonzalez said, as quoted by MASN's Mark Zuckerman.
"I’m a way better pitcher than what I’m showing out there. And it sucks that these guys are constantly picking up my mess."
"The start before this, it was location," Baker said, as quote in the WaPost. "Then what hurt this time were the walks."
Washington rallied to get within two runs twice, with Ryan Zimmerman hitting a two-run blast in the second that made it a 4-2 game and a solo blast in the seventh that made it 6-4, but St. Louis responded each time with Matt Adams' two-run double off reliever Sammy Solis in the eighth, that made it 8-4, finally putting it out of reach.
"We were fighting back, fighting back and then it really hurt when -- they outscored us in the seventh, eighth, ninth, I think, eighth and ninth," Baker said.
"Solis has been so good for us, big time, and then Adams got that key double. That was huge."
"It was just a matter of us not getting the big hits when we needed and them getting the big hits when they needed."