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Washington Nationals drop second straight, fall to 12-16 with 3-2 loss to St. Louis Cardinals

Washington’s Nationals have now lost two straight and 7 of 10 after their second-straight loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Washington Nationals Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Given a 2-0 lead to work with after three scoreless innings of work tonight in the nation’s capital, Washington Nationals’ right-hander Aníbal Sánchez gave it up in the top of the fourth, with St. Louis Cardinals’ hitters connecting for three hits, all singles, taking two walks, and scoring three runs to put them ahead in what ended up a 3-2 win.

Sánchez vs St. Louis: Winless in five outings, and (0-3) going into tonight’s start, Nationals’ righty Aníbal Sánchez took the mound against the St. Louis Cardinals with a 6.00 ERA, 16 walks, 20 Ks, and a .283/.369/.496 line against in his first 27 IP for Washington after signing a 2-year/$19M free agent deal this winter.

Sánchez tossed three scoreless innings as the Nationals jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but he ran into trouble in the fourth, with the Cardinals loading the bases with two out before a bunt by Kolten Wong brought in the first run of the game for St. Louis, 2-1, and Harrison Bader followed with a two-run single to center on a 1-0 cutter to put the visiting team up, 3-2.

Sánchez returned to the mound in the fifth, working around a double in a 16-pitch frame, but he was out of the game after that, having thrown 94 pitches in five innings of work in which he gave up five hits, two walks, and the three earned runs, while striking out seven batters of the 22 he faced.

Aníbal Sánchez’s Line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 Ks, 94 P, 60 S, 1/6 GO/FO.

Wainwright in Washington: Adam Wainwright earned his second win in five starts when he took on the Milwaukee Brewers in Miller Park in his last outing before tonight’s, holding the Brew Crew to a run on four hits in six innings of worn on the mound in what ended up a 5-2 win.

Wainwright, 37, took on the Nationals tonight in the second of four for the Cardinals in D.C. with a 3.96 ERA, 10 walks, 22 Ks, and a .258/.333/.473 line against in 25 IP on the season.

The veteran right-hander tossed two scoreless to start, but a first-pitch fastball in the third ended up in the right field bullpen as Adam Eaton took him deep for a solo shot and a 1-0 lead.

Victor Robles hit a 3-1 curve to left in the next at bat, sending one into the visitor’s bullpen in Nationals Park for his 5th of 2019 and a 2-0 lead.

It was 3-2 Cardinals after four, however, and Wainwright responded to the three-run inning by his teammates with an eight-pitch, 1-2-3 fourth and nine-pitch fifth, in which he worked around a one-out single.

Wainwright’s five-pitch sixth left him at just 74 pitches overall, but a one-out single by Adam Eaton and a hit-by-pitch on Victor Robles in the seventh ended his outing after 80 pitches...

Adam Wainwright’s Line: 6.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 Ks, 2 HRs, 80 P, 55 S, 7/3 GO/FO.

Soto Streaking: Juan Soto extended his on-base streak to 14-straight games last night in the series opener with St. Louis.

Over the course of the streak, the 20-year-old slugger has hit a double and four home runs with nine walks in 63 plate appearances.

It was a walk in his final PA on Monday, but tonight Soto singled to left with one down in the bottom of the fifth to extend the streak.

BULLPEN ACTION: Wander Suero took over for Sánchez in the top of the sixth inning and worked around a two-out single in a 27-pitch frame, 13 of the 27 to Harrison Bader in a two-out battle that ended with Suero’s third K.

Tony Sipp came on to try to keep it close in the top of the seventh and struck two batters out before he was replaced by Kyle Barraclough with Paul Goldschmidt due up, and the right-hander struck the Cards’ first baseman out to end the inning and keep it a 3-2 game in the Cardinals’ favor.

Tyler Webb took over for Adam Wainwright with two on and one out in the seventh, and got an inning-ending double play out of Juan Soto on the first pitch he threw, still 3-2 Cardinals.

Barraclough returned to the mound in the eighth and worked around a two-out walk for a scoreless frame.

John Gant got the bottom of the eighth for the Cardinals and worked around an error for a scoreless frame.

Dan Jennings made his Nationals debut in the top of the ninth, retiring the first two batters he faced before a liner back to the mound bounced out of his glove (at over 100 MPH off the bat, ouch), and a walk ended his outing...

Joe Ross came on to face Goldschmidt and got out No. 3 to end the inning.

Gant came back out for the ninth and retired one batter before Howie Kendrick singled on a pop to short right.

The Cards went to the pen again for Andrew Miller vs Adam Eaton, and the lanky lefty got Eaton swinging for out No. 2 before retiring Victor Robles to end it, 3-2 Cards final.

Nationals now 12-16