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Washington Nationals 6-2 over Cardinals to set up rubber match in St. Louis tomorrow...

Washington’s Nationals beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-2 in Busch Stadium to set up a rubber match in tomorrow’s series finale.

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

Howie Kendrick tripled and scored on a sac fly in the second, then homered in his second at bat tonight in the fourth, and Juan Soto doubled and scored on an RBI single by Victor Robles in the sixth, before Robles drove in another run in the eighth, and Soto hit a sac fly to drive in a run in the ninth inning in the Washington Nationals’ 6-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in Busch Stadium.

Corbin vs the Cards: Patrick Corbin struggled when he faced the St. Louis Cardinals back in April, giving up six hits, four walks, and six earned runs in five innings of work on the mound in the nation’s capital.

Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez talked after the outing about the uncharacteristic walks for Corbin in that outing against the Cards.

“The walks got him,” Martinez said, “and he couldn’t find the plate and then when he did he said, ‘I left the ball pretty much down the middle.’”

In his second start of the season against the Cardinals tonight, Corbin struck out five of the first eight batters he faced in two scoreless, as the Nationals jumped out to a 1-0 lead.

Corbin came back out for the third, however, and gave up back-to-back singles by opposing pitcher Miles Mikolas and Dexter Fowler, respectively, both of whom advanced on a bunt by Kolten Wong, and a walk to Paul Goldschmidt loaded them up in front of Marcell Ozuna, but Ozuna K’d swinging over a 2-2 slider. Paul DeJong got up 3-0 in the next at bat, got a green light, and swung but grounded to short where Trea Turner ... booted it, allowing the first run of the game for the Cards to score, 1-1.

Corbin took the mound with a 2-1 lead in the fourth, and struck out two batters (for nine Ks total from 18 batters faced), in a nine-pitch, 1-2-3 frame that left him at 74 pitches overall.

Back-to-back walks in the fifth gave Paul DeJong another opportunity, but he grounded out to short ... and Turner handled it this time.

Corbin issues his fourth walk of the game on his 100th pitch, putting Tommy Edman on with one out in the bottom of the sixth, and Harrison Bader singled to right field in the next AB to put runners on the corners with one out. Pinch hitter José Martínez stepped in next, and got up 3-1, went 3-2, and K’d swinging on a fastball up high, but a throw to second got away and rolled into center as Bader stole second, allowing Edman to score, 3-2 Nats after six.

Patrick Corbin’s Line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 11 Ks, 110 P, 57 S, 7/1 GO/FO.

Mikolas vs the Nationals: Cards’ righty Miles Mikolas held the Nationals to a run on seven hits in six innings on the mound in the nation’s capital on May 1st, earning the win in a 5-1 game.

Heading into his second outing of the season against Washington, the 31-year-old right-hander was unbeaten in his previous five starts with a 4.18 ERA, five walks, 30 strikeouts, and a .226/.263/.387 line against in 28 IP over that stretch.

Mikolas worked around a two-out single by Anthony Rendon in a scoreless first, but Howie Kendrick tripled to center to start the top of the second and scored on a sac fly to left field by Asdrúbal Cabrera, 1-0.

It was 1-1 in the third when Mikolas came back out and left an 0-2 curveball up for Howie Kendrick, who hit it over the center field wall for a one-out solo homer that made it a 2-1 game in the Nationals’ favor. Kendrick’s 16th of 2019.

The Nats wasted a first-and-third, no-out opportunity in the fifth, then Juan Soto doubled to start the sixth inning and scored with two down when Victor Robles lined a single to center to make it 3-1. Soto’s 30th double.

Miles Mikolas’s Line: 6.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 Ks, 1 HR, 91 P, 67 S, 5/6 GO/FO.

Cardinals Notes: On September 17, 1941, a 20-year-old Stan Musial made his Major League debut for the St. Louis Cardinals, connecting for the first two of his 3,630 career hits over his 22-season Hall of Fame career. As a 21-year-old rookie in ‘42, Musial had a .315/.397/.490 line, 32 doubles, 10 triples, and 10 home runs in 140 games and 536 plate appearances in his first full season in the majors.

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

BULLPEN ACTION: Giovanny Gallegos came on for the home team in the top of the seventh and retired the side in order, striking out two.

Fernando Rodney got the bottom of the seventh for the Nationals, and retired the side in order in an 18-pitch frame.

Gallegos got the first out of the eighth for the Cards, then John Gant came on and gave up a single by Howie Kendrick (3 for 4, 3B, HR, single). Asdrúbal Cabrera walked in the next at bat, so the Cards went to Ryan Helsley who threw a wild pitch that bounced off the brick wall in Busch Stadium right back to Yadier Molina, who threw Kendrick out at third. Victor Robles hit a two-out RBI single to center to bring Cabrera in though, 4-2, and scored on an RBI double by Yan Gomes, 5-2.

Daniel Hudson got the eighth for the Nationals, working around a one-out double by Yadier Molina for a scoreless frame.

Genesis Cabrera walked Trea Turner to start the ninth, Adam Eaton bunted his way on, and one out after a double steal, Juan Soto hit a sac fly to left to bring Turner home, 6-2.

Hudson came back out in the ninth and retired the side in order to end it. Ballgame.

Final Score: 6-2 Nationals

Nationals now 83-67