Adam Wainwright pitched neatly into the seventh inning, helping himself by kicking the ball over to first for a key out, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Washington Nationals 3-2 on Tuesday night.
Harrison Bader drove in two runs and Kolten Wong had two hits as NL Central-leading St. Louis earned its fourth straight victory. It was the Cardinals’ 18th win in April, matching a team record set in 2008.
Wainwright (3-2) allowed two runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked two.
The right-hander caught a break in the second. Well, kicked his way to a big break.
Washington had the bases loaded with two out when pitcher Anibal Sanchez hit a comebacker that Wainwright inadvertently kicked over to Paul Goldschmidt for the easy out. The 37-year-old Wainwright grinned as he walked off the mound.
The Nationals grabbed a 2-0 lead on consecutive homers by Adam Eaton and Victor Robles in the third. But the Cardinals responded with three in the fourth.
With the bases loaded and two out, Wong dropped a perfect squeeze bunt down the third base line that brought in a run. Bader followed with a two-run single.
After Wainwright departed, Tyler Webb, John Gant and Andrew Miller combined for 2 2/3 innings of one-hit ball. Miller got two outs for his first save with St. Louis.
Sanchez (0-4) struck out seven in five innings. He allowed five hits and walked two.
Wainwright and catcher Yadier Molina worked together for the 248th time on a start, tying the duo with Atlanta’s Tom Glavine and Javy Lopez (1994-2002) for 10th place among batterymates.
Molina went 0 for 3 with a walk, ending his hitting streak at 16 games.
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