Miles Mikolas outpitched Max Scherzer, Marcell Ozuna had three hits and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Washington Nationals 5-1 Wednesday night for their fifth straight win.
José Martínez drove in two runs for the Cardinals, who have won 10 of 11.
Washington has lost the first three games of the series and six of their last seven overall, and fell to 12-17.
The Cardinals touched up Scherzer (1-4) for three runs in the first as Victor Robles — playing right in place of Juan Soto, who was scratched from the lineup with back spasms — misread Ozuna’s flyball and it went for an RBI double. Martínez delivered a two-run single a batter later.
Scherzer pitched seven innings and struck out eight. He yielded eight hits, half of them coming in the first inning.
The Nationals mustered a run in the fourth, but couldn’t solve Mikolas (3-2), who was winless in his first three road starts this year. The right-hander gave up a run and seven hits while striking out four in six innings, and his final pitch resulted in a flyball to left by Michael A. Taylor fly that Ozuna caught while backed up against the door to the visitor’s bullpen.
St. Louis added two runs in the eighth off Joe Ross, ending the Washington bullpen’s scoreless streak at 16 innings.
Cardinals: RHP Luke Gregerson (shoulder impingement) threw to seven batters during a pregame batting practice session. “Stuff looked good. He had some later movement to his ball, had some finish to his pitches,” manager Mike Shildt said. “We’ll see how he recovers and based on that and based on the next couple days we’ll find the right spot to get him activated.” . OF Dexter Fowler (illness) was unavailable for the second game in a row.
Nationals: Soto, who is hitting .248 with six homers and 22 RBIs, had played every inning in each of Washington’s first 28 games before he was scratched from the original lineup. He was available but was not used off the bench.
Cardinals: RHP Dakota Hudson (2-1, 5.63 ERA) looks to win his third consecutive start. He is 1-0 with a 7.71 ERA in four lifetime appearances (all in relief) against Washington.
Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (2-1, 3.82) faces the Cardinals for the first time since 2016 as the four-game series concludes.