Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - The Washington Nationals scored two runs after a wild pitch in the seventh inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-1 on Friday night.
The Nationals were the beneficiaries of sloppy play one day after making four errors and being two-hit by Adam Wainwright in an 8-0 loss to open the four- game series.
Anthony Rendon hit a solo homer for Washington and Gio Gonzalez (3-1) struck out seven batters in seven innings, but it was the poor play by St. Louis in the seventh that got the Nationals the win.
They loaded the bases with no outs after Cardinals starter Michael Wacha fielded Danny Espinosa's bunt and tried to get the lead runner at third, but his hard throw went off Matt Carpenter's glove for an error on the third baseman.
The two runs scored with two outs when Yadier Molina scrambled for Wacha's wild pitch and hurried a throw to his pitcher that skipped into the Cardinals dugout.
The Cardinals made three errors and had an eight-game winning streak against the Nationals snapped.
Wacha (2-1) gave up five hits and also struck out seven in seven innings with no walks.
Gonzalez yielded four hits and a walk. The Cardinals put runners at second and third base against Tyler Clippard in the eighth before Drew Storen came in to get two quick outs. Rafael Soriano worked around a walk in the ninth for his fourth save, getting a double play to end the game.
"Unbelievable job by our pitchers," said Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond. "Gio pitched his butt off."
Wacha picked up his third and fourth strikeouts to start the third inning, but Rendon lined the next pitch, a 74 mph curve ball, into the visitors bullpen behind left field for his third homer of the season and a 1-0 Nationals lead.
Gonzalez retired eight in a row before Allen Craig hit a one-out double off the wall in right field that Jayson Werth had trouble tracking. Later, Werth slid but couldn't catch Mark Ellis' single in shallow right, scoring Craig to tie the game for St. Louis.