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Washington Nationals avoid a sweep with 5-4 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in the finale in Busch Stadium

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Tanner Roark gave up a run in the third and three in the sixth, but the Nationals jumped out to an early lead and held on for what ended up a 5-4 win in the series finale with the Cardinals.

Washington Nationals v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Washington Nationals’ starter Tanner Roark held the St. Louis Cardinals to one run through five innings, as the Nats jumped out to a 5-1 lead, but the Cards rallied for three in his final inning of work in the sixth, making it a one-run game.

Justin Miller took over on the mound for the Nationals in the seventh, tossing a scoreless frame, and came back out for the eighth with a 1-2-3 inning.

Koda Glover got the save opportunity in the ninth, and locked down the sweep-avoiding win, 5-4 final.

Roark vs the Redbirds: Tanner Roark was winless in seven outings between June 12th and July 13th, putting up a 7.68 ERA and a .364/.436/.539 line against in 36 13 innings pitched over that stretch, but heading into tonight’s game in St. Louis, MO’s Busch Stadium, Roark was unbeaten in four outings, with a 1.21 ERA and .213/.232/.250 line against over 29 23 IP, coming off a strong 7 23-inning start against the Chicago Cubs in Wrigley Field.

Roark retired the first six batters he faced, as the Nationals jumped out to a 2-0 lead after two and half in finale with the Cardinals, but the seventh batter, Harrison Bader, hit a 2-1 slider out to left and into the left field bullpen for a solo home run that cut the Nationals’ lead in half.

Roark held the Cardinals there, as the Nationals jumped out to a 5-1 lead, completing five innings on 68 pitches after working around a leadoff walk in the bottom of the fifth.

Cards’ outfielder Tyler O’Neill doubled with one down in the sixth, however, and scored on an RBI hit to center by Paul DeJong, 5-2, and DeJong scored on an RBI double to center off the bat of Kolten Wong, who lined a 1-1 two-seamer to left-center to make it 5-3.

Anthony Rendon got charged with an error on a skipped throw to first in the next at bat that Ryan Zimmerman couldn’t pick. Wong scored 5-4, but Roark stopped the bleeding and got the third out to keep the Nationals ahead...

Tanner Roark’s Line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 97 P, 59 S, 4/6 GO/FO.

Weaver vs Washington: Luke Weaver, 24, was a 2014 1st Round pick by the Cardinals, who debuted in the majors in 2016. After he put up a 4.72 ERA and a .253/.318/.397 line against in 103 IP in the first half of the season this year, he’d gone (1-2) in four starts out of the All-Star Break, with a 4.34 ERA and a .346/.400/.538 line against in 18 23 IP before tonight.

Weaver and the Cards fell behind early in the series finale with the Washington Nationals in Busch Stadium, with Trea Turner singling and scoring on a Bryce Harper double in spite of some fan interference on the hit, which stayed just fair as it went by the first base line, 1-0.

Four of the first five Nationals in the third singled off Weaver, with Tanner Roark, Turner, Harper, and Rendon all squaring the Cards’ starter up as the visitors added a run, 2-0.

Tanner Roark singled, Adam Eaton walked, and Trea Turner reached on an error by Matt Carpenter with two out in the top of the fourth, and with Weaver up to 71 pitches and in trouble again, he was lifted...

Luke Weaver’s Line: 3.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 71 P, 42 S, 3/3 GO/FO.

Turner + Harper = Runs: Bryce Harper came into tonight’s game 28 for 83 (.337 AVG) with seven doubles, seven home runs, 20 RBIs, 13 walks, and 19 runs scored in 24 games since play resumed following the All-Star Break.

That hot stretch took him from a .215/.364/.465 line on July 20th to .239/.379/.510 heading into the series finale in St. Louis tonight.

Harper connected for his eighth double of the second half the first time up tonight, driving Trea Turner in after the shortstop singled with one out in the first, 1-0, and the Nationals’ 2-3 hitters connected for back-to-back singles the second time up in the third, loading them up after Tanner Roark singled to start the top of the inning. Anthony Rendon drove in the Nats’ second run of the game with a bases-loaded, RBI single, 2-0.

Turner was 2 for 2 with an ROE after his third trip to the plate. Harper was 3 for 3 after he lined a two-run single to center field in the top of the fourth to make it a 4-1 game in the Nationals’ favor.

BULLPEN ACTION: Tyson Ross took over on the mound for the Cardinals with two out and the bases loaded in the fourth, after Tanner Roark singled, Adam Eaton walked, and Trea Turner reached on an error, knocking starter Luke Weaver out. Bryce Harper stepped in to face Ross, and lined a 95 mph 1-1 fastball to center for a two-run single that made it a 4-1 game.

Ross returned to the mound in the fifth and gave up a two-out single by Daniel Murphy and a walk to Matt Wieters, then had back-to-back errors, (one by Kolten Wong and one by the pitcher himself), lead to another run, with Adam Eaton sending a bases-loaded swinging bunt out towards the mound that Ross misplayed, allowing Murphy to come in from third, 5-1.

It was 5-4 after six when Ross retired the Nationals in order for a shutdown inning after the Cards rallied to get within one.

Justin Miller replaced Tanner Roark on the mound in the bottom of the seventh and worked around a leadoff walk in a scoreless, 16-pitch frame.

Brett Cecil retired the Nationals in order in the top of the eighth, and Miller came back out in the bottom of the inning, and retired the Cardinals in order in a 16-pitch frame.

Mike Mayers worked around a leadoff single and one-out walk to keep it a one-run game after eight and a half.

Koda Glover got Harrison Bader looking with a backdoor 3-2 slider. Greg Garcia fell behind 0-2 and lined out to the mound. Jose Martinez sliced a one-out single over the right side of the infield to get Matt Carpenter to the plate. Carpenter worked the count full and walked.

With two on and two out, Yadier Molina stepped in and sent a fly to center to end it.

Nationals avoid a sweep, stop Cardinals’ winning streak at eight-straight.

Ballgame.

Final Score: 5-4 Nationals

Nationals now 61-61