Flaherty wins 4th straight start and Cardinals beat Nationals 8-4

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jack Flaherty won a fourth straight start for the first time in two years, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat Washington 8-4 on Sunday to open the second half by taking two of three from the Nationals.

Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run homer and Nolan Gorman had three hits and two RBIs for St. Louis.

Flaherty (7-5) allowed three runs, three hits and three walks in six innings with seven strikeouts. He had not won four starts in a row since an 8-0 stretch from April 7 to May 19, 2021.

His hot streak this year followed a slump in which he went 0-1 over four starts.

Chris Stratton pitched a perfect seventh and Kyle Leahy relieved after a 38-minute rain delay. Leahy got one out and JoJo Romero the final five.

Nationals All-Star Josiah Gray (6-8) gave up four runs and 10 hits in five innings.

Keibert Ruiz homered in the second, ending Flaherty’s 13 2/3 innings scoreless streak.

Run-scoring singles by Andrew Knizner, Brendan Donovan and Lars Nootbaar in the fourth built a 3-1 lead for St. Louis, which had gone 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position.

Gorman homered in the fifth.

Dominic Smith had a two-run double to shallow center in the sixth that just eluded Nootbar’s attempt for a diving, backhand catch, cutting the Nationals’ deficit to 4-3.

Goldschmidt hit a 443-foot drive to center in the sixth off Jordan Weems, Alec Burleson had an RBI groundout and Gorman added a run-scoring single for an 8-3 lead.

Abrams doubled and scored on Ruiz’s groundout in the eighth.


St. Louis activated Knizner (right groin) from the 10-day injured list, optioned 1B Luken Baker to Memphis and returned RHP James Naile to the Triple-A farm team. Naile was the team’s 27th player in Saturday’s doubleheader.


Nationals: 3B Jeimer Candelario was a late scratch and missed his second straight game after bruising a bone in his right thumb Friday night. … RHP Hunter Harvey was unavailable due to right forearm soreness. He got a save in Saturday’s opener.

Cardinals: RHP Adam Wainwright (right shoulder strain) is expected to throw a bullpen session on Monday.


Nationals: LHP MacKenzie Gore (4-7, 4.42 ERA) is to start Monday’s opener of a three-game series at the Chicago Cubs, who counter with LHP Drew Smiley (7-6, 4.31 ERA). It will be Gore’s first start at Wrigley Field.

Cardinals: RHP Miles Mikolas (5-5, 4.12) starts Monday’s opener of a three-game series against visiting Miami, which send LHP Jesús Luzardo (8-5, 3.29 ERA) to the mound.


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