Originally posted on Fox Sports Midwest  |  Last updated 4/23/13
WASHINGTON (AP) Adam Wainwright extended his sterling start to the season - and Washington's mediocre one - by coming within two outs of his second shutout, leading the St. Louis Cardinals past the Nationals 2-0 Tuesday night. The right-hander (4-1) lowered his ERA to 1.93 by going 8 1-3 scoreless innings, allowing only five hits. Edward Mujica got the final two outs for his third save. Allen Craig and Carlos Beltran drove in runs in the fourth off Nationals lefty Ross Detwiler (1-1), who gave up eight hits across six innings. The Nationals, who led the majors with 98 wins last season and were a popular pick to do well in 2013, lost for the eighth time in their past 11 games to fall to 10-10. How in command has Wainwright been? His walk to Bryce Harper with two outs in the sixth was the pitcher's first free pass of the season, and it came in his fifth start, after 34 2-3 innings. That loaded the bases for Washington, but no matter: Wainwright struck out Adam LaRoche swinging with a high, 94 mph fastball. Catcher Yadier Molina pumped his fist. In all, Wainwright struck out nine batters - LaRoche, four times, including in the ninth after Harper's leadoff double - and had that lone walk. For the Cardinals, this represents their first two-game "winning streak" in a while: They had alternated wins and losses over the previous nine games. Washington, meanwhile, dropped its fifth consecutive home game, and there even were scattered chants of "Let's go, Cardinals!" among the announced crowd of 29,986. Before the game, Nationals manager Davey Johnson spoke about some of his hitters and pitchers "trying to do too much," perhaps as a result of the expectations the club faced entering the season, something unprecedented for the franchise since it moved from Montreal in 2005. "Maybe from everybody picking us as a candidate to win our division," Johnson said, "everybody's trying to be a little better than they need to be, instead of just relaxing, going out there and doing what you're capable of doing." Of course, it was Johnson who came up with the phrase "World Series or bust" to describe what the Nationals have said will be his final season as their manager. "They win ballgames; I lose em. I ain't doing too good here, lately. There's nothing really you can say about it," Johnson added. "Just keep a positive attitude." Detwiler weaved his way in and out of the first three innings, each of which ended with a groundball double play, including a nifty one started by second baseman Danny Espinosa with a backhanded flip from his glove to shortstop Ian Desmond. A fourth - and unusual - double play came in the fifth inning, when Wainwright's sacrifice bunt with a man on first was fielded by third baseman Anthony Rendon, who threw to Espinosa covering first base for one out. The runner, Pete Kozma, kept going, and Espinosa threw to Detwiler covering third to get him out, too. In the only early inning without a double play, the fourth, the Cardinals got to Detwiler with four consecutive opposite-field hits by right-handed batters, including the run-scoring double by Craig and single by Beltran. Wainwright, in contrast, had a much easier time. He needed all of four pitches to record three outs in the fifth inning, for example, as Desmond, Anthony Rendon and Espinosa all grounded out. That gave Wainwright 13 consecutive outs. And he took only five pitches to get through the seventh against that same trio. Notes: Some sprinklers in the outfield came on while the Cardinals were taking batting practice and some pitchers were tossing baseballs out there. ... The scoreboard went in and out of service in the first two innings. ... Kozma collected two hits and heard more hearty boos again Tuesday at Nationals Park, where his two-run single in the ninth inning in October provided the margin in St. Louis' 9-7 Game 5 victory over Washington in their 2012 NLDS. "That's a great compliment to him," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "Getting booed at home shouldn't be a goal of yours. But getting booed on the road isn't necessarily that bad of a thing." ... Wainwright threw a four-hit shutout against Milwaukee on April 13. ... Matheny said 1B Matt Adams, who sat out a second game with a sore muscle on his right side, is working with trainers to rehab the injury and the expectation is that he won't need to go on the DL. ... Cardinals CF Jon Jay was out of the starting lineup, with Shane Robinson playing center and batting leadoff. Jay is hitting .197 with a .238 on-base percentage. "No question, he's searching for a few things on the offensive side," Matheny said. ... In the series finale Wednesday afternoon, Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg (1-3, 2.96 ERA) will face Cardinals LHP Jaime Garcia (1-1, 3.22 ERA).
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Most strikeouts by a hitter in a single season
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

David Ortiz thinking about comeback after Chris Sale trade?

Jeff Fisher hilariously explains why he couldn’t find challenge flag

Dodgers have reportedly been in touch with Jose Bautista

D’Qwell Jackson suspended four games for PED use

Coaches irked by late-season Thursday night division games?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Donatas Motiejunas refuses to report to Rockets after they match RFA offer sheet

Green-Beckham touted fake charity for #MyCauseMyCleats

Rashaan Salaam dead at 42

Claire Smith becomes first woman to win BBWAA’s J.G. Taylor Spink Award

Report: Gregory eligible to practice, could play in Week 16

49ers say Colin Kaepernick will start against Jets

The best (and worst) times athletes hosted 'SNL'

The five must-have sports games of 2016

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 1: News, notes and rumors

The five 2016 Heisman finalists: How do they measure up?

Box Score 12/6: Klay Thompson and the ball of fire

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL sweaters)

This Jaguars regime needs to be put out of its misery

The good, bad, and ugly from NFL Week 13

Championship Week as explained by Diana Ross

Cult of Sport: Before there was Ezekiel Elliott, there was Eric Dickerson

MLB Winter Meetings primer: Every team's trade temperature on the hot stove

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The five best (and worst) times athletes hosted 'SNL'

The five must-have sports games of 2016

Winter Meetings report, Day 1: News, notes and rumors

The five 2016 Heisman finalists: How do they measure up?

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL Christmas sweaters)

The good, bad, and ugly from NFL Week 13

Championship Week as explained by Diana Ross

Cult of Sport: Before there was Ezekiel Elliott, there was Eric Dickerson

Winter Meetings primer: Every team's trade temperature on the hot stove

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker