CARDINALS (17-10) AT NATIONALS (12-14)
7:05 p.m. ET; MASN, FSMW, MLB.TV
The Washington Nationals have lost their last three series and have only one series win at home.
But they will begin a four-game set with the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday at Nationals Park after getting a historic win on Sunday at home against the San Diego Padres.
Washington left-hander Patrick Corbin (2-0, 2.48 ERA), who has been outstanding, will start Monday against right-hander Michael Wacha (1-0, 4.64 ERA) of the Cardinals. Wacha had to miss his last start due to left knee tendinitis.
Former St. Louis slugger Matt Adams led off the last of the 11th inning with a homer for a 7-6 victory for Washington on Sunday. But it was earlier longballs by Juan Soto, Victor Robles and Carter Kieboom that set a milestone as the Nationals became the first team to have three players under the age of 22 homer in the same game.
“Those guys are just special ballplayers,” Washington pitcher Jeremy Hellickson said.
He should know about young players, as Hellickson was the rookie of the year in the American League eight years ago with Tampa Bay.
Nationals manager Dave Martinez, a former player and coach at Tampa Bay, wondered out loud in the postgame press conference if any team had ever pulled off such a feat. He was then informed minutes later by a team spokesman that indeed the Washington trio made history.
“That’s amazing,” said Soto, whose three-run shot in the fourth trimmed the lead to 6-3.
“That’s pretty impressive,” Martinez said. “Kudos to the boys.”
Martinez said he hopes the Nationals can build off a rare extra-inning win. But that is something that has not happened early this year or even most of 2018.
Corbin has allowed five earned runs in his last 18 1/3 innings over three starts against the Cardinals.
The only time Corbin has posted a win over St. Louis was in 2016. His overall mark against the Cardinals is 1-1 with a 3.90 ERA in five starts.
He will have to face a first-place Cardinals team that has a deep outfield that is making offensive contributions on a regular basis. Marcell Ozuna, Dexter Fowler and Jose Martinez played a big role in a win at home Sunday over the Cincinnati Reds.
“It’s a real blessing we have that kind of depth and that kind of skill set,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt told reporters after the win at home.
St. Louis is 17-10 while the Nationals are 12-14. The Cardinals are 5-6 on the road while Washington is 6-8 at home.
Wacha threw a side session Friday and is on tap to make his first start since April 17, when he threw six quality innings against the Milwaukee Brewers. Wacha is 3-2 with a 1.30 ERA in five career starts against Washington.
Adams got the start Sunday against a lefty starter when Ryan Zimmerman of the Nationals went on the injured list with a foot injury.
Washington third baseman Anthony Rendon, hit by a pitch in Miami two weekends ago, did not start Sunday for the sixth time in seven games as the Nationals had a short bench. Rendon was not used off the bench while outfielder Adam Eaton, a normal starter, pinch hit with the bases loaded in the third and struck out.
Right-hander Erick Fedde, called up from Double-A Harrisburg of the Eastern League to take the roster spot of Zimmerman, threw four scoreless innings Sunday after taking over for Hellickson.
–Field Level Media