Washington Takes Series At Busch

The Washington Nationals took two of three from the St. Louis Cardinals over the weekend with a 7-2 win Sunday. Adam Wainwright's three game home winning streak came to an end as he took the loss and his record fell to 4-4 on the season.

The Cardinals' bats have started to come alive with the team hitting at a .325 clip over the last 11 games. You take that and the dive that the Milwaukee Brewers are taking, losing seven of their last 10 games, and the fans of Cardinal Nation can take a deep breath. Perhaps the season isn't over yet.

The Cardinals were looking to take five-of-six in the current homestand sending Adam Wainwright to the mound. Wainwright had a three-game home winning streak going into Sunday's game, in spite of opponents having a .346 batting average against him, second-highest in the National League only to Pittsburgh's Zach Duke (.357).

Wainwright held the Nationals in check through the first four innings, but in the top of the fifth inning with the rain starting to fall, former Cardinal Ronnie Belliard gave the Nationals a 2-0 lead with a two-out two-run home run in the top of the fifth inning, just moments before the game was stopped due to rain.

After an hour delay, Wainwright would return and go through seven innings, giving up seven hits and only the two runs from the fifth inning, while six and walking only one. His home winning streak came to an end.

Relievers Russ Springer and Randy Flores allowed a combined five runs in relief and Troy Cate who was just called up earlier in the day, pitched 1.1 innings, giving up only one hit and striking out a batter, for his Major League Debut.

The Cardinals ended up losing by the score of 7-2 Sunday when it was all over. According to an AP report, the Nationals took two of three for their first series win over the Cardinals since 1999, when the franchise was in Montreal. Washington has won five of their last six and 12 of 17.

Belliard had four hits for the Nationals on the day, including the two-run home run in the fifth.

For St. Louis, Albert Pujols improved his batting average to .302 with three hits and Scott Spiezio homered in the eighth as the Cardinals closed out this homestead with a 4-2 record.

GAME NOTES:

HITTING STREAK - Albert Pujols is in the midst of a 10-game hitting streak, the 15th hitting streak of 10-or-more games in his career and second this season. The 15 double-digit streaks rank fourth among active players. Pujols is batting .463 (19-41) during the streak to bring his batting average up from .239 to a season-high .291.

ROSTER MOVE - The Cardinals have optioned RHP Anthony Reyes to Triple-A Memphis and recalled LHP Troy Cate. Cate is wearing jersey #46. Cate was 1-3 with a 4.54 ERA overall for Memphis in 13 games, his last seven as a starter (1-3, 5.40 ERA). His first appearance with St. Louis this day was his Major League debut.

Reliever Todd Wellemeyer will take Reyes place in the rotation Wednesday. Wellemeyer, 28, was claimed off waivers from the Kansas City Royals on May 15 and has a 2.70 ERA in four appearances with St. Louis, striking out eight and allowing two earned runs in 6 2-3 innings. He'll be making his first Major League career start in Colorado. I guess there are worse places to get your first big league start; I just can't think of any.

MR. PERFECT - Scott Rolen leads all MLB third basemen with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. Rolen has handled 106 total chances without an error. His last regular season miscue came on September 27 of last season vs. San Diego and he now has a 45-game errorless streak (regular season). The errorless streak is the longest active streak by any MLB third baseman. Now he just needs to start hitting with some power in his bat, as his last home run was back in April.

COMING UP!

Mon., May 28 at ROCKIES: Kip Wells (2-8, 6.10) vs. Jeff Francis (3-4, 4.11) 2:05 p.m.

Tue., May 29 at ROCKIES: Braden Looper (6-3, 3.10) vs. TBD 8:05 p.m.

Wed., May 30 at ROCKIES: Todd Wellemeyer vs. Jason Hirsh (2-4, 4.30) 8:05 p.m.

Thu., May 31 at ROCKIES: Brad Thompson (3-1, 4.73) vs. Aaron Cook (4-1, 4.11) 8:05 p.m.


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