courtesy of philliefan99
For the second time in that many days, the Nationals fell to St. Louis, losing 2-0 Tuesday night, on six strong innings of work from left-handed starting pitcher Ross Detwiler. Detwiler gave up two runs on eight hits, walked two, and struck out two on 93 pitches (60 strikes).
Washington’s defense was the strongest positive worth noting in a game where their bats fell short. In the first five innings, the Nats turned four successful double plays to rob St. Louis of additional runs. But not even spectacular defense from shortstop Ian Desmond, second baseman Danny Espinosa, first baseman Adam LaRoche, catcher Kurt Suzuki, and Detwiler could win them the game.
Cardinals’ center fielder Shane Robinson led off the fourth inning with a single off Detwiler sparking the four-hit, two-run rally that won the game for St. Louis. Robinson scored on a no-out double up the right field line off the bat of first baseman Allen Craig giving St. Louis an early 1-0 lead.
That hit streak continued for the Cardinals as left fielder Matt Holliday and right fielder Carlos Beltran hit back-to-back singles off Detwiler. Beltran’s RBI-single allowed Craig to score making it a 2-0 game in favor of St. Louis.
Detwiler allowed as many earned runs in the fourth inning on Tuesday night as he had in his previous three starts of the season combined: two. Problem is — there was no run support to back it. The Cardinals, on the other hand, road the curtails of yet another successful 2013 pitching appears from their right-handed starter Adam Wainwright.
Wainwright retired thirteen consecutive batters for St. Louis before the Nats could even get their second hit of the game in the sixth. Catcher Kurt Suzuki led off that innings with a single, ending up on third and in scoring position after a single from center fielder Denard Span and a walk issued to left fielder Bryce Harper. But, with the bases loaded and two out, LaRoche squandered a potential rally opportunity with a strike out.
The heart of Washington’s order didn’t help much in Tuesday night’s game either. They collectively recorded just two hits and a total of six strike outs – four of which were LaRoche’s (he went 0-for-4).
The Nats were able to get something started in the eighth when pinch hitter Steve Lombardozzi hit a one-out single but he got called out pretty fast on a fielder’s choice play when Span grounded into the play all while reaching first base. Right fielder Jayson Werth couldn’t keep it going though, and Washington squandered yet another opportunity to catch up to St. Louis.
Harper kept hopes alive stretching a routine single into a double on a close play at the bag, one that left his batting helmet on the base path as he hustled to safety, but the Nats couldn’t manage to score.