Kurt Suzuki hit a go-ahead two-run double in the 10th and the Nationals defeated the Cardinals, 6-4 at Busch Stadium on Saturday night. The loss coupled with the Dodgers’ win cut the Cards’ wildcard lead to just two games with four to play, while keeping the Cardinals’ magic number for clinching a postseason berth at 3. Kyle Lohse allowed four runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out nine in six innings. Michael Morse accounted for all four runs in the 1st inning with a grand slam. The Cardinals battled back against their early deficit, scoring three in the 7th thanks to a Pete Kozma two-RBI double and an RBI single from Jon Jay. Jay then added a sacrifice fly in the 9th to tie the score. Kozma and Jay combined to go 5-for-8 with four RBIs and two runs scored. Kozma is now hitting .306 with a .353 OBP in 22 games at the big league level this season. Unfortunately, the heroics of the Cardinals’ second baseman and center fielder were not enough, as Sam Freeman and Fernando Salas surrendered two runs on two hits and two walks in the 10th. Freeman and Salas saw their ERAs rise to 5.68 and 4.30, respectively, on the season.
Carlos Beltran went 1-for-4 with a run scored while batting sixth for the third time in four games. Beltran is hitting just .133 with two RBIs and a run scored in his last seven games, while seeing his average drop to .265. David Freese did not start for the 4th straight game but did draw a walk as a pinch hitter in the 7th. Freese and his sprained ankle hope to be in the lineup on Sunday when the Cards send Lance Lynn (17-7, 3.69) to the hill against Ross Detwiler (10-7, 3.28) in the series finale, a game that will mean much to both teams as the Nats can clinch the NL East with a win.