for this game

Molina's blast powers Cardinals to win over Nationals

Jun 4, 2008 - 6:26 AM By Tim Hipps PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Yadier Molina's three-run homer in the first inning was all the St. Louis Cardinals needed for a 6-1 victory over the Washington Nationals in a game delayed for 2 hours, 40 minutes by rain on Tuesday night.

The Cardinals took advantage of driving rain and a slick field to score four runs in the first off Nationals starter Odalis Perez (2-5).

After Perez plunked Cardinals leadoff batter Brian Barton and Albert Pujols reached on an error, Ryan Ludwick delivered an RBI double to the gap in left-center for a 1-0 lead.

Two batters later, Molina parked Perez's first pitch into the Cardinals' bullpen in left-center for all the runs St. Louis righthander Kyle Lohse (6-2) needed.

"We did a good job taking advantage of Odalis Perez," Molina said. "Everybody knows that he's going to throw strikes, so we come out ready to swing on every pitch close to a strike and we were able to get pretty good contact."

The Cardinals' Aaron Miles and Cesar Izturis each had two hits before the game was delayed by rain in the top of the fourth inning for 1 hour and 51 minutes. Izturis doubled before the delay and stole third as soon as play resumed.

He then scored from third on a double steal with pinch runner Rick Ankiel, who entered when Pujols left the game with tightness in his left calf after being hit by a pitch from Nationals righthander Jesus Colome.

Lohse allowed one run on four hits in five innings of work that consumed about well over four hours of actual time. He spent much more time trying to stay loose and warm than he did on the mound.

"I thought Kyle went for two or three wins," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "That's really difficult, physically and mentally. He just stayed very, very active keeping his shoulder loose and throwing a lot of pitches just so he wouldn't stiffen up. One run in five innings, that's amazing.

"That felt like a lot of work right there, but it was worth it," Lohse said. "We needed to start the road trip off good and we did. It's a little late, but it was a good win."

The game was delayed for another 49 minutes in the fifth inning after Troy Glaus and Molina reached on back-to-back singles.

"I was trying to stay as far away from Tony (La Russa) and (pitching coach Dave) Duncan as I could just to not let them have any doubts," said Lohse, who wanted to remain in the game. "I was down in the cage trying to stay warm and not let my body tighten up. ... Tomorrow, I'll probably be a little more sore all over my body instead of just my arm."

When play resumed, Lohse helped his cause by delivering an RBI single to right off Nationals righthander Brian Sanches that plated Glaus for a 6-0 lead.

"I just wanted to stay out there as long as I could," Lohse said. "I didn't want to have to blow out the bullpen in the first day on the road trip, so I was doing whatever I could to stay loose and get out there. It was nice having a big lead early and a little room for error - not that we needed it, but it was nice to have that big first inning."

Lohse then tipped his cap to his catcher, Molina, who gave St. Louis the early lead. The Cardinals held on to win to post their fifth victory in their last seven road games and improved to 14-12 away from Busch Stadium.

"He's great at calling pitches," Lohse said. "He sees stuff that I sometimes can't see when I'm making pitches. The whole game plan with him and (Duncan) has really helped me out, and I can't argue with the offense he's throwing out there. He's been doing a great job for us.

"He's having a great year so far, and I hope he keeps it up because that's a big boost having that defense with the offense and game-calling. That's a pretty good mixture right there."

The Nationals scored their lone run in the fifth on an RBI groundout by Ryan Langerhans.

Perez lasted only three innings. He allowed four runs on five hits and walked two.

"His shoulder is bothering him, his left shoulder," Nationals manager Manny Acta said. "He has some left shoulder tendinitis. He's going to miss his next start.

"It's like something burning in the arm," Perez said. "I don't think it will be a big, big issue."

The Nationals have lost five of their past seven games.

"Right now, this team is not having a good time," Perez said.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ST LOUIS 4 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 6 11 0
    WASHINGTON 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 6 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: STL - KYLE LOHSE, KYLE MCCLELLAN (6TH), RUSS SPRINGER (7TH), RON
    VILLONE (8TH), MARK WORRELL (9TH) AND YADIER MOLINA
    WAS - ODALIS PEREZ, JESUS COLOME (4TH), BRIAN S

    Jun 4 12:19 AM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY RYAN LANGERHANS SCORED JESUS FLORES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K CASTO ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 6
    WASHINGTON 1 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: B SANCHES (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Cardinals 6, Nationals 1  Bot 5, 0 OutsJun 3 11:09 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY KYLE LOHSE SCORED TROY GLAUS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K LOHSE ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 6
    WASHINGTON 0 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: C IZTURIS (.266, 2-FOR-2)

    Cardinals 6, Nationals 0  Top 5, 0 OutsJun 3 11:03 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    CESAR IZTURIS STOLE HOME.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R ANKIEL ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 5
    WASHINGTON 0 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: R LUDWICK (.323, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Cardinals 5, Nationals 0  Top 4, 0 OutsJun 3 10:01 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ST LOUIS 4 4 3 0
    WASHINGTON 0 0 2 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: STL - KYLE LOHSE
    WAS - ODALIS PEREZ

    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: F LOPEZ (.247, 1 HR, 16 RBI)
    C GUZMAN (.300, 5 HR, 20 RBI)
    L MILLEDGE (.246, 3 HR, 21 RBI

    Cardinals 4, Nationals 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsJun 3 7:25 PM