In a preview of a potential postseason matchup, the Cardinals topped the Nationals 10-9 on Sunday afternoon in Washington, D.C., snapping a four-game losing streak while moving 1 1/2 games ahead of the Pirates (who lost) and the Dodgers (who won) in the National League Wild Card standings.
David Freese, the big hero from last October, went 3-for-5 with a home run to center field and three total RBI. Jon Jay finished 3-for-4 and made two great grabs in center field. Jason Motte closed it out with a perfect 10-pitch ninth inning for his 32nd save of the season.
The Cardinals lost 9-0 to the Pirates on Tuesday, 5-0 to the Pirates on Wednesday, then 8-1 to the Nationals on Thursday and 10-0 on Friday. But the offense seems to have found new life, and the schedule gets easier when the Redbirds return home on Monday for a six-game homestand with the Mets and Brewers.
St. Louis has six games left against the Astros.
Your Saturday box scores and recaps:
Orioles 3, Yankees 4
Giants 5, Cubs 2
Rays 5, Blue Jays 4
Angels 5, Mariners 2
Phillies 5, Braves 1
Cardinals 10, Nationals 9
Twins 3, Royals 1 (Game 1)
Rangers 3, Indians 4
White Sox 1, Tigers 5
Reds 1, Astros 2
Pirates 2, Brewers 3
Mets 5, Marlins 3
Twins 8, Royals 7 (Game 2)
Padres 1, Rockies 9
Red Sox 1, Athletics 7
Diamondbacks 1, Dodgers 2
Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal reports that Mets second baseman Neil Walker is expected to undergo season-ending surgery to fix a herniated disk in his lower back. Walker has avoided the disabled list but hasn’t played since last Saturday and has only two starts since August 22.
If Walker does indeed go under the knife, he’ll end his first season with the Mets with a terrific .282/.347/.476 triple-slash line with 23 home runs and 55 RBI in 458 plate appearances. While the Mets couldn’t have foreseen Daniel Murphy having such a terrific season, Walker was more than adequate in Murphy’s shoes at second base.
Kelly Johnson and Wilmer Flores have handled second base in Walker’s absence and will continue to do so through the remainder of the season.
Rockies 1B/OF Stephen Cardullo celebrated his 29th birthday on Wednesday, so the rookie decided to celebrate by homering in both games of his team’s doubleheader at home against the Dodgers.
In the first game, Cardullo pinch-hit for Chris Rusin in the seventh inning and drilled a solo home run off of Casey Fien. In the second game, Cardullo smacked a grand slam to left-center field off of Bud Norris in the first inning.
Cardullo made his major league debut this past Friday. He was hitless in his first five at-bats before singling as a pinch-hitter on Monday.