ST. LOUIS — Facing the possibility of heading to Washington down 2-0 in a best-of-five series, the St. Louis Cardinals treated Monday like an elimination game.
The aggressor from the beginning in Game 2, the Cardinals jumped on the Nationals with a four-run second inning and continued to apply pressure, ensuring they wouldn’t let another winnable game slip away as they rolled to a 12-4 rout.
“If you go down 2-0, that means the margin for error is [gone],” said second baseman Daniel Descalso, who hit one of four St. Louis home runs. “Now it’s even, basically, it’s a clean slate. Now it’s a three-game series.”
The Cardinals seemed a step ahead the entire way, perhaps best exemplified by Pete Kozma’s hustle in going first-to-third on a Lance Lynn bunt back to reliever Craig Stammen in the fourth. And they kept on going, keeping runners in motion and working quality at-bats as they piled on the runs late.
“Those are the type of plays that sometimes get you going,” said Carlos Beltran, whose two monster homers didn’t hurt.
Added Descalso: “We sort of kept the momentum on our side.”
Garcia leaves with injury
Playoff format turns into positive development for Nationals
It was a quirk of the Major League Baseball postseason schedule this year that the Washington Nationals ended up here. That they, owners of the league’s best record, opened their first postseason series on the road.
But after a win in Game 1 of their National League Division Series with the Cardinals, the Nationals now face the attractive prospect of heading home to Washington in position to need only two wins, and possibly one depending on the result of Monday’s Game 2.View Entire Story
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Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals and comes to The Washington Times from the Cape Cod Times and after stints with MLB.com and the Amsterdam (N.Y.) Recorder. A Massachusetts native and 2008 graduate of Boston University, Amanda can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow her on Twitter @acomak.
Marc Lancaster has covered Major League Baseball for the Tampa Tribune and the Cincinnati Post and served as an editor at FanHouse.com and SportsIllustrated.com. A University of Georgia graduate, he began his career as a sportswriter at the Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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