After ending a five-game losing streak the day before, the Nationals broke out with their second consecutive eight-run outburst. Edwin Jackson tossed eight dazzling innings, striking out 10 batters in his first start against the team he won a World Series ring with the year before. All but one of the Nationals’ starting position players notched a hit, led by Bryce Harper’s three RBI.
Against one of baseball’s highest-scoring offenses, Gio Gonzalez fired his first career complete-game shutout to net the Nationals their 80th win of the season. Nationals hitters chased starter Adam Wainwright after 22 / 3 innings, powered by Jayson Werth, who reached base in all five of his plate appearances.
Jordan Zimmermann endured the worst outing of his career, allowing eight runs on eight hits over 32 / 3 innings. Ryan Zimmerman’s RBI single gave the Nationals a 9-8 lead. Sean Burnett gave up the lead in the eighth and Drew Storen’s slow move to the plate allowed the game-winning run to get into scoring position with a stolen base in the ninth.
In his penultimate start of the season, Stephen Strasburg struck out nine batters and allowed only two hits over six innings. Burnett allowed a two-run home run to Daniel Descalso in the seventh to tie the game at 2. Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa knocked RBI singles in the seventh to secure the win.
Jackson suffered through one of the most ineffective outings of his career, allowing nine runs, eight earned, and recording only four outs. Wainwright limited the Nationals’ offense to one run over six innings. Yadier Molina drove in three, including a two-run home run off Jackson. Down by eight runs, Nationals Manager Davey Johnson inserted backups.
In the 10th inning, Kurt Suzuki smashed a go-ahead, two-run double to center, his biggest hit as a National. Jon Jay had tied the score in the ninth off Drew Storen. Craig Stammen earned his first career save. Michael Morse provided one of the most memorable plays of the season with his pantomime grand slam off Kyle Lohse in the first.
With a chance to clinch the NL East on the road, Nationals pitching faltered again against the potent Cardinals lineup. Ross Detwiler was chased after allowing seven runs, three earned, in 21 / 3 innings. Reliever Chien-Ming Wang allowed another two runs. Carlos Beltran hit two home runs and drove in five.