The Cardinals hit Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann early and often on Monday, while Carlos Beltran belted a pair of home runs to send St. Louis to a 12-4 victory at Busch Stadium. The win pulls the Cardinals to a 1-1 series tie in the NLDS.
Jaime Garcia started the game for St. Louis, but he was lifted after two innings with arm discomfort. Following an MRI on the southpaw’s shoulder, the Cardinals are expected remove him from their NLDS roster. Garcia allowed one run on two hits and three walks before making way for Lance Lynn.
Zimmermann, making his first career playoff start, was ripped for four runs in the second inning. Allen Craig, Yadier Molina, David Freese, and Daniel Descalso each got a hit before Zimmermann recorded the first out of the inning, giving St. Louis a quick 2-1 lead. After a Pete Kozma strikeout, Skip Schumaker followed with an RBI groundout, and John Jay whacked an RBI single to left field but was thrown out trying to advance to second base.
Craig made the score 5-1 with a solo shot in the third, which proved to be Zimmermann’s last inning. He gave up five runs on seven hits in three innings before bowing to reliever Craig Stammen to lead off the fourth.
Stammen couldn’t staunch the bleeding, though, as Descalso tagged the righty for a solo homer, and St. Louis added another run on a fielding error by Danny Espinosa.
Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche hit back-to-back solo homers off Lynn to bring the score to 7-3, but that was as close as the Nationals came to tying the Cardinals. Carlos Beltran hit a solo homer in the sixth inning and a two-run jack in the eighth to put the game out of reach. Trevor Rosenthal closed out the win with a scoreless ninth inning, striking out the side.