Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cards' Offense Still on Sick List; Nationals 8, Cardinals 1; Redbirds Can Only Muster an Unearned Run after Being Shut out the Previous Two Games; Losing Streak Reaches Three

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cards' Offense Still on Sick List; Nationals 8, Cardinals 1; Redbirds Can Only Muster an Unearned Run after Being Shut out the Previous Two Games; Losing Streak Reaches Three

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON - The Washington Nationals got well Thursday night. The Cardinals fell deeper into a world of hurt.

Nearly sent to a third consecutive shutout for the first time since 1976, the Cardinals ended a 8-1 loss against former teammate Edwin Jackson without shortstop Rafael Furcal, who left the sixth inning with an apparent right elbow strain.

The Nationals dusted the Cardinals for the seventh time in the teams' last eight meetings at Nationals Park, this time extending the visitors' run of futility to 28 innings.

An eighth-inning unearned run was all that allowed the defending World Series champions to avert another shutout. Replacement catcher Bryan Anderson doubled to lead off the inning before scoring when third baseman Ryan Zimmerman's throwing error compounded an infield hit.

After opening their current 10-game road trip with an uplifting series win against the Cincinnati Reds, the Cardinals now confront a rotation that can't reach the sixth inning and an offense that struggles to push runners into scoring position. The 28-inning scoring drought was the Cardinals' longest since a 33-inning spectacle in July 1995 - the season before Tony La Russa took over as manager.

The NL East-leading Nationals entered having won only once in their previous six games. They scored only six runs during a five- game losing streak that ended Wednesday in Miami. However, the Nats had little trouble reaching lefthander Jaime Garcia (3-7) for six runs in 5 1/3 innings.

Rookie center fielder Bryce Harper launched his third home run in two games on Garcia's eighth pitch. The shot reached the home team's bullpen for a quick 2-0 lead. The Cardinals never put the tying run on base.

Right fielder Jayson Werth scored after reaching in each of his first three plate appearances, which included a fifth-inning home run. The Nats piled on for two insurance runs after chasing Garcia with three consecutive singles and a fielder's choice.

Garcia's abbreviated outing extended a bothersome trend: Cardinals starters have gone five consecutive turns without reaching the sixth inning. Garcia's loss included a home run allowed to a lefthanded hitter (Harper) for a second straight outing. …

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