After falling behind 5-0, and then 6-1, and 7-2, the Washington Nationals battled back, adding one run in the sixth, and four more in the seventh, but they fell short of a full comeback, dropping the series finale with the St. Louis Cardinals, 7-6.
Roark vs the Cards Rd. 2: Tanner Roark extended an unbeaten streak to five-straight starts with a six-inning outing against the St. Louis Cardinals on August 16th in Busch Stadium in which he gave up five hits, three walks, and four runs (three earned).
Over that stretch, the Nationals’ 31-year-old right-hander was (5-0) with a 1.77 ERA, five walks, 28 Ks, and a .214/.246/.282 line against in 35 2⁄3 IP.
Going into his second outing against the Cardinals this season, however, Roark was winless in his last three, with a 3.00 ERA, no walks, 11 Ks, and a .200/.200/.436 line against in 15 IP.
He fell behind 3-0 early in the series finale with St. Louis, giving up back-to-back singles by Matt Carpenter and Jose Martinez and a three-run home run to right field by former Nats’ first baseman Matt Adams, who hit a first-pitch curve over the out-of-town scoreboard for his 19th home run of the season.
The opposing pitcher, Miles Mikolas, reached on a two-out chopper that bounced off the plate and straight up in the air in the second, and Matt Carpenter hit a fly to center field where Bryce Harper lost it in the twilight and let it all in for an RBI double, 4-0. Carpenter scored on an RBI single by Jose Martinez in the next at bat, 5-0.
Matt Adams’ second home run of the game, in the fifth, landed in the second deck in right field to put the Cardinals up 6-0.
Tanner Roark’s Line: 5.0 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 0 BB, 4 Ks, 2 HRs, 111 P, 73 S, 7/0 GO/FO.
Mikolas vs the Nationals Rd. 2: Going up against the Nationals back on August 13th in St. Louis, Cards’ starter Miles Mikolas gave up four hits, a walk, and four earned runs in seven innings, receiving no decision in what ended up a 7-6 win.
Over 62 starts in Nippon Professional Baseball, Mikolas went 31-13 with a 2.18 ERA, 69 walks (1.46 BB/9), and 378 Ks (8.01 K/9) in 424 2⁄3 IP before he signed a 2-year/$15.5M contract and returned to Major League Baseball with St. Louis.
In three starts following his outing against the Nationals in Busch Stadium, Mikolas was (1-1) with a 4.02 ERA, one walk, 15 Ks, and a .368/.386/.559 line against in 15 2⁄3 IP before he took the mound in Washington, D.C.’s Nationals Park tonight.
Mikolas tossed three scoreless to start, working out of a bases-loaded, two-out jam in a 20-pitch third that left him at 48 pitches total.
With the score 6-0 Cards in the fifth, Victor Robles singled on a blooper to left in a pinch hit appearance, and then scored on a double to the right-center gap by Adam Eaton in the next at bat, 6-1.
Victor Robles scores his first run of 2018 and we're on the board. pic.twitter.com/TYhBPz7zQT— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) September 6, 2018
Ryan Zimmerman singled with one down in the Nats’ sixth, and scored on an RBI double by Wilmer Difo, 7-2.
Bryce Harper singled and Anthony Rendon doubled with two down in the seventh, at which point Mikolas was lifted...
Miles Mikolas’s Line: 6.2 IP, 12 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 2 Ks, 107 P, 75 S, 12/2 GO/FO.
Harper, Harper, Harper: There wasn’t much going on offensively for the Nationals as a team early tonight, though they did manage to score two runs on Cards’ starter Miles Mikolas, but Nats’ outfielder Bryce Harper came in swinging a hot bat and continued to tonight.
Harper entered play having reached base in 11 of his last 15 plate appearances, with a total of eight walks and three hits over that stretch.
He went 3 for 4 with a double against Mikolas. So 14 of 19 plate appearances on base...
Also, those cleats though #21!!!:
BULLPEN ACTION: Kyle McGowin made his MLB debut in the sixth, recording one out, then giving up a monster shot to left on a 3-1 slider to Yairo Munoz that ended up 20 rows deep in the seats, 7-1 Cards. McGowin got the next two outs without any drama, completing a 16-pitch inning.
That bat flip though...
Yairo Muñoz's bat flip > your bat flip pic.twitter.com/8E1d6auex0— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) September 6, 2018
Wander Suero tossed a scoreless 12-pitch seventh after the Nationals added a run in the home-half of the sixth.
Juan Soto walked in Dakota Hudson’s first matchup of the night after the right-hander took over on the mound for Cards’ starter Miles Mikolas.
Soto’s free pass loaded the bases with two out in the Nats’ half of the seventh, and Ryan Zimmerman cleared them with a line drive double to center that Harrison Bader got a glove on but couldn’t catch, 7-5. Wilmer Difo followed with an RBI single that brought Zimmerman home, 7-6 after seven.
Suero tossed another scoreless frame in the eighth to keep it a one-run game.
Carlos Martinez got the eighth for the Cardinals, working around a one-out single by Adam Eaton to keep it 7-6 St. Louis.
Justin Miller gave up leadoff and one-out singles in the top of the ninth, and a walk loaded the bases, but Eaton got the next two outs with any runs scoring. Still 7-6 Cards.
Martinez came back out for the bottom of the ninth, and gave up a leadoff, bloop single to right by Anthony Rendon. Juan Soto hit a 110 mph grounder to first that bounced off Matt Carpenter and back towards the mound for a hit. Ryan Zimmerman stepped in next, and... K’d looking at a 3-2 slider inside for the first out of the inning.
Wilmer Difo got the second shot at tying it up (or potentially winning it), but popped out to center. Michael A. Taylor came on next as a pinch hitter and worked the count full before a slider outside got him swinging to end it.
Final Score: 7-6 Cardinals
Nationals now 69-71