Nationals at Cardinals live updates and discussion thread: Game 8

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Nationals win 6-2

END 9: Erik Davis pitched a scoreless ninth inning to finish a Nationals 6-2 win over the Cardinals. Gio Gonzalez gets the win, Anthony Rendon and Ian Desmond were impressive again at the plate. Drew Storen worked out of a jam in the eighth inning.

Ryan Perry bounces back

END 7: Ryan Perry, who was converted from a reliever to starter last season, struggled in his last outing, telling coaches he was out of gas. He pitched three strong innings in relief of Gio Gonzalez, allowing no runs and only two hits. He kept the ball low in the strike zone induced seven ground outs.

Gio Gonzalez gets out of jam

END 3: Gio Gonzalez is likely done after three innings and 52 pitches. He gave up two runs on five hits, walked one and struck out none. Striking out no hitters is rare for him. After some miscues and giving up some hits in the frame, the affable Gonzalez’s body language wasn’t good. He gave up one run on three hits that innings. Nationals lead, 5-2.

Chris Marrero homers, Nats lead 5-1

MID 3: Chris Marrero smacked his first spring home run, sending an Adam Wainwright pitch over the right field fence for a solo shot. The wind is blowing out to right field. Nationals lead, 5-1. (Yes, the Nationals have a lead on the Cardinals with Gio Gonzalez on the mound and Wainwright pitching.)

Anthony Rendon’s bat is red hot

END 2: The Nationals hit Adam Wainwright hard in that frame and the wind blowing out towards right-center helped, too. Kurt Suzuki doubles to lead off and Chris Marrero singled him in. With one out, Anthony Rendon smashed a 1-0 pitch to dead center, which hit the batter’s eye for a two-run shot. The sweet-swinging infielder, who won’t make the major league roster after camp breaks, is now 6 for 14 with two home runs and 7 RBI in seven games.

And, the speed of Eury Perez and Danny Espinosa forced the Cardinals to throw the ball around the infield, which led to a run. Nationals lead, 4-1.

Gio Gonzalez shaky to start

END 1: Danny Espionsa and Ian Desmond both singled in the top of the inning off Adam Wainwright, but Tyler Moore grounded into a double play.

Gio Gonzalez’s command was just barely off, trying to paint the edges of the strike zone and missing by a little. He walked Cardinals super prospect Oscar Taveras on six pitches, allowed singles to Matt Holliday and Allen Craig. Holliday was gunned down at home with a relay from Moore to Ian Desmond to Kurt Suzuki. Cardinals lead, 1-0.

Lineups and a rematch


(Robb Carr / Getty Images)

PREGAME: The Nationals make their first – and long – trip to Jupiter to face the St. Louis Cardinals. It’s Gio Gonzalez on the mound for this second start of the spring and right-hander Adam Wainwright starting for the Cardinals. If you remember, that’s a rematch of Game 5 of the NLDS. Less pressure this time? “Just a little,” Manager Davey Johnson said. (Carlos Beltran was a late scratch because of his toe.)

Here are the lineups:

Nationals

1. Danny Espinosa, DH

2. Steve Lombardozzi, 2B

3. Ian Desmond, SS

4. Tyler Moore, LF

5. Kurt Suzuki, C

6. Chris Marrero, C

7. Corey Brown, RF

8. Anthony Rendon, 3B

9. Eury Perez, CF

 

Cardinals

1. Jon Jay, CF

2. Oscar Taveras, RF

3. Matt Holliday, LF

4. Allen Craig, DH

5. Yadier Molina, C

6. David Freese, 3B

7. Daniel Descalso, 2B

8. Ty Wigginton, 1B

9. Ronny Cedeno, SS

James Wagner joined the Post in August 2010 and, prior to covering the Nationals, covered high school sports across the region.
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James Wagner · March 2, 2013