Adams homers twice, Cardinals hold off Nationals 7-6
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Matt Adams homered twice against his former team who traded him last month, Marcell Ozuna tied his career-high with four hits and the St. Louis Cardinals held off the Washington Nationals 7-6 on Wednesday night.
One night after bashing five homers against Washington, St. Louis settled for three in the rubber game of the series as Yairo Munoz had a solo shot in the sixth.
Miles Mikolas (14-4) worked 6 2/3 innings and was charged with four runs on 12 hits. Carlos Martinez worked the final two innings for his first save since 2014, getting three straight outs in the ninth after the first two batters reached.
Ryan Zimmerman’s three-run double followed by Wilmer Difo’s RBI single pulled Washington within 7-6 in the seventh.
Bryce Harper had three hits for Washington on a day when general manager Mike Rizzo responded that he hasn’t considered any other scenario when asked if manager Dave Martinez will return in 2019.
Adams was signed by the Nationals in the offseason. The former Cardinal hit .258 with 18 homers for Washington and was traded back to St. Louis on Aug. 21, the same day Daniel Murphy was dealt to the Cubs.
Tuesday’s homers were Adams’ first since the trade. He came into the game 3 for 23 with the Cardinals.
Washington’s Tanner Roark (8-15) was a loser for the third straight start. He gave up six runs on 10 hits over five innings.
It took the Cardinals just seven pitches to take a 3-0 leadoff Roark. Following a pair of singles, Adams homered on the first pitch he saw.
Fielding problems helped the Cardinals expand their lead in the second. With two outs, third baseman Anthony Rendon had trouble getting a Mikolas bouncer out of his glove. Then Matt Carpenter launched a fly ball to the warning track in center that Harper lost sight of for an RBI double.
Carpenter later scored to make it 5-0.
Adams struck again in fifth, hitting a solo shot into the back of the second deck on Roark’s first pitch.
Cardinals: C Yadier Molina left in the eighth inning with left hamstring tightness. … 2B Kolten Wong (left hamstring strain) was activated from the 10-day disabled list after missing nine games. Manager Mike Shildt said Wong was available Wednesday in a limited capacity. . OF Harrison Bader started a night after fouling a ball off his ankle. “I said after the game `How are you feeling?”’ Shildt said. “He said, `Five ounces can’t hurt me’ _ the weight of a baseball.”
Nationals: LHP Sean Doolittle (left toe inflammation) threw another simulated game Wednesday. “He felt a lot better today than he did the previous game,” Martinez said. “Hopefully, he’ll be back for the weekend.”
Cardinals: LHP Austin Gomber (5-0, 2.77 ERA) starts Friday at Detroit as St. Louis begins its final interleague series of the season.
Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (7-7, 4.09) starts the opener of a four-game series against the visiting Chicago Cubs. Strasburg is 2-2 with a 2.56 ERA in six career starts versus the Cubs.