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Washington Nationals drop 2 of 3 to St. Louis Cardinals with 5-0 loss in finale in D.C.

Cards’ starter Andre Pallante dominated the Nationals in a 5-0 win for the Cardinals...

St. Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Gray vs St. Louis:

Josiah Gray returned from the All-Star Break with a five-inning, 94-pitch outing against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Dodger Stadium, in which the 24-year-old righty gave up five hits total, two walks, and three earned in what ended up an 8-3 win for the visiting Washington Nationals.

Gray gave up two more home runs, the 22nd and 23rd he’s allowed this season (2.13 HR/9), and he was out relatively early with his pitch count up, something he said afterwards he is still working on.

“It’s a matter of continuing to work ahead,” Gray explained, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.

“Being competitive in the zone. I wasn’t as sharp as I could be tonight, unfortunately, so the pitch count got up there early on. Some things to work on.”

Gray got through two on 29 pitches this afternoon, striking out four of the first seven hitters he faced, but Corey Dickerson doubled down the line in right, where it dropped a few steps in front of Juan Soto, and Dickerson took third on a wild pitch before scoring on a grounder off Dylan Carlson’s bat, 1-0 Cards.

Gray issued back-to-back, one-out walks to Nolan Gorman and Lars Nootbaar in a stretch in which he threw nine straight balls, but he got a force at second on a Paul DeJong grounder, only to give up a two-out, three-run home run to right field by Corey Dickerson, who hit the 84 MPH, 2-1 curve Gray threw him out to put the Cardinals up 4-0.

A 16-pitch fifth, in which he worked around a two-out hit-by-pitch on Nolan Arenado left Gray at 95 pitches overall after what ended up being his final inning of work...

Josiah Gray’s Line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 Ks, 1 HR, 95 P, 52 S, 3/5 GO/FO.

Pallante in D.C.:

Andre Pallante, 23, and a 2019 4th Round pick, made his MLB debut earlier this year, but he was pitching out of the bullpen in April and May before he moved into the Cards’ rotation in June.

In 10 appearances (nine of them starts) in the last two months, the right-hander has put up a 4.81 ERA, a 4.68 FIP, and a .302/.359/.453 line against in 48 23 IP.

Last time out before today, Pallante went just four innings, giving up five of seven hits, one a home run, and all three runs he allowed in the first, before tossing three scoreless to end his outing, repeating what he said was a pattern.

“It’s kind of been a theme through my last couple of outings,” Pallante said, as quoted on

“I’m going to go back, watch the last four games, where I’ve given up runs in the first then made improvements throughout the game and try to learn what I’m doing differently, then do that in the first inning [too].”

Pallante was good from the start this afternoon, with four scoreless on 47 pitches, as the Cards jumped out to a 4-0 lead, and he came back out for the bottom of the fifth with a streak of eight-straight batters retired, and added three more in a 15-pitch frame, 62 total over 5.0 scoreless.

His streak of retired batters ended with a leadoff single by Tres Barrera in the Nats’ half of the sixth, but a fly to right and a double play followed as the Cards’ starter completed his sixth scoreless frame at 69 pitches overall.

Pallante returned to the mound in the seventh, and retired middle of the Nationals’ lineup in order, striking out Josh Bell and Nelson Cruz after Juan Soto lined out to right field.

A nine-pitch, 1-2-3 eighth left Pallante at 93 pitches overall, and he came back out for the ninth and gave up a single by Tres Barrera, and a double to left field by Lane Thomas that ended his outing...

Andre Pallante’s Line: 8.0 IP,

Bullpen Action:

Jordan Weems gave up a one-out home run to center field in Nats Park on a 96 MPH 3-2 fastball DeJong hit 421 feet, 5-0.

Weems retired the side in order in his second inning of work in the seventh.

Steve Cishek worked around a one-out walk for a scoreless eighth.

Cory Abbott, who is supposed to start in Tuesday’s game, took over in the top of the ninth, and worked around a throwing error by Luis García for a scoreless frame to keep it at 5-0.

Ryan Helsley took over for the Cards’ starter with runners on second and third and one out in the ninth, and stranded both runners (while hitting 102 on the radar gun) to preserve the shutout. 5-0 Cards.

Nationals now 35-68