for this game

Big seventh inning propels Nats past Cards

Jun 15, 2011 - 5:25 AM Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Pinch-hitter Laynce Nix drew a go-ahead bases-loaded walk as part of a six-run seventh inning, as the Nationals came back to shock the Cardinals, 8-6, in the opener of a three-game set.

Danny Espinosa went 3-for-5 with a run batted in and Michael Morse chipped in with two hits, two runs scored and an RBI for Washington, which kept the momentum going after posting a 6-5 record on their recent West Coast tour, marking their first winning road trip since going 4-3 on a seven-game trek from May 12-18, 2008.

The Nationals have won four straight and five of their last seven overall.

Ryan Zimmerman, reinstated from the 15-day disabled list prior to the game, posted an RBI double in the seventh. He missed more than two months of action because of a torn abdominal muscle that required surgery.

Henry Rodriguez (2-1) earned the win for tossing a scoreless top of the seventh.

Albert Pujols hit a two-run homer and Lance Berkman added a solo shot and drove in a pair for the Cardinals, who have lost four straight and five of six.

"It was a nightmare of a seventh inning," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "It was uncharacteristic."

Trailing 6-2, the Nats put up six in the seventh, sending 12 men to the plate to go ahead off reliever Miguel Batista (3-2).

With men on first and second, and one down, Zimmerman's double to right brought in a run and Morse's groundout scored another. Espinosa singled up the middle to score Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos followed with a base hit that chased Batista. Left-handed specialist Trever Miller entered and hit Roger Bernadina, then uncorked a wild pitch that scored Espinosa with the tying run.

Pinch-hitter Ivan Rodriguez walked intentionally to load the bases and Jason Motte was summoned from the bullpen. Nix drew an 11-pitch walk to force in the go-head run and Jayson Werth added an RBI single for an 8-6 lead. Ian Desmond fanned to end the inning.

"We got a couple breaks, a couple big hits, great at-bat by Nix to draw the walk," Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said. "There were a lot of great at- bats and the bullpen did a good job also."

Tyler Clippard worked a perfect eighth to bridge the gap for Drew Storen in the ninth. The right-hander issued a one-out walk to Ryan Theriot, who stole second. After Storen retired Colby Rasmus on a fly ball, Riggleman elected to give Pujols an intentional walk.

Storen then set down Berkman on a comebacker to lock down the win and record his 16th save of the season.

Theriot led off the game with a base hit and crossed the plate when Pujols crushed a curveball over the left-center field fence.

Berkman's blast to right in the fourth put the Cards ahead by three, but Bernadina's RBI single in the home half made it 3-1.

St. Louis loaded the bases in the fifth and the Nationals failure to turn a tailor-made double play resulted in a fielder's choice RBI for Berkman.

Yadier Molina and Andrew Brown followed with a run-scoring singles to put the Cards in front 6-1.

With the bases full and no outs in the sixth, Bernadina bounced into an unconventional 4-3-6 twin killing that plated a run.

Game Notes

Nationals center fielder Rick Ankiel left the game in the bottom of the second inning with a strained left intercostal muscle....Washington starter Yunesky Maya lasted only 4 2/3 innings after getting roughed up for nine hits, six runs and two walks with a pair of strikeouts...Jaime Garcia got the starting nod for the Cardinals and worked six solid innings, giving up two runs on eight hits with one walk. The left-hander struck out seven.






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  • Jayson Werth single to right scored Roger Bernadina. On the play, Laynce Nix advances to second and Ivan Rodriguez advances to third. Bases loaded with two outs and Ian Desmond due up.

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  • Ivan Rodriguez intentionally walked. Bases loaded with two outs and Jerry Hairston Jr. due up.

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  • Wilson Ramos singled to center. On the play, Danny Espinosa advances to second. Runners on first and second with two outs and Roger Bernadina due up.

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  • Michael Morse grounded out short to first scored Ian Desmond. On the play, Ryan Zimmerman advances to third. Runner on third with two outs and Danny Espinosa due up.

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  • Roger Bernadina grounded into a double play, second to first to short scored Michael Morse. Wilson Ramos out at second. Danny Espinosa advances to third. Runner on third with two outs and Ryan Mattheus due up.

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  • Andrew Brown single to right scored Lance Berkman On the play, Yadier Molina advances to third. Runners on second and third with two outs and Skip Schumaker due up.

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  • Lance Berkman grounded into a fielder's choice, short to second scored Ryan Theriot. Albert Pujols out at second. Colby Rasmus advances to third. Runners on first and third with two outs and Yadier Molina due up.

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  • Roger Bernadina single to center scored Michael Morse. Runner on first with two outs and Yunesky Maya due up.

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  • Lance Berkman lead-off Home Run (17) to right. Yadier Molina due up.

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  • Albert Pujols one-out, two-run Home Run (15) to left scored Ryan Theriot. Lance Berkman due up.

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