The Norman Transcript

National Sports

April 21, 2014

St. Louis splits with Washington

WASHINGTON — The Cardinals managed to score twice against Stephen Strasburg while starter Shelby Miller kept the Nationals offense quiet. Nine outs away from taking yet another series from Washington, St. Louis’ defense and bullpen couldn’t finish the job.

Denard Span hit a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning and Washington, with Bryce Harper back in the lineup and stealing his first base of the season, rallied past the Cardinals 3-2 on Sunday.

The Cardinals gave up two runs in the seventh and the game-winning score in the ninth. They weren’t charged with any errors in those innings but failed to record two potential outs.

Washington took advantage of each opportunity.

The Nationals loaded the bases in the ninth against Seth Maness (0-1). Danny Espinosa singled through third baseman Matt Carpenter’s legs with one out for his third hit, Jose Lobaton singled through the right side of the infield and pinch hitter Nate McLouth walked.

“That’s a play I’m expecting to make and a play that I expect myself to make, and I didn’t make it,” Carpenter said. “It ended up costing us.”

In his second game since he was activated from the seven-day disabled list after a concussion, Span lofted a fly ball to left field. Espinosa easily beat the throw from Jon Jay, who shifted over from right as St. Louis used a five-man infield.

The Nationals tied the game with four straight singles off reliever Carlos Martinez in the seventh. Ian Desmond’s RBI grounder through the right side confused second baseman Daniel Descalso.

Instead of a potential double play, the Nats scored, and the inning went on. Espinosa had three hits, including the game-tying RBI single off Martinez.

The Nationals, who had costly errors earlier in the series, split the four games.

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