WASHINGTON — Nolan Gorman and Lars Nootbaar hit back-to-back homers in the sixth inning, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Washington Nationals 6-2 Friday night.
Washington’s Juan Soto went 1 for 4 in what could be his final homestand with Tuesday’s trade deadline looming. The Nationals were 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position.
Miles Mikolas (8-8) allowed two runs in seven innings for St. Louis, which won consecutive games for the first time since July 15-16.
Aníbal Sánchez lost his third consecutive start for Washington, which has a majors-worst record of 34-67.
Sánchez (0-3) pitched into the sixth inning for the first time this season, and nearly escaped trailing just 3-1. Gorman hit a two-run homer to right on a full count to break the game open.
Nootbaar then went deep on a liner to right-center to end Sánchez’s night. The home run came a pitch after Washington catcher Keibert Ruiz scampered to track down a pop foul, only to have it bounce out of his glove. He was not charged with an error on the play.
St. Louis took the lead with three runs in the third. Dylan Carlson and Paul Goldschmidt had run-scoring groundouts sandwiched around Sánchez’s run-scoring wild pitch.
Sánchez allowed six runs in 5 2/3 innings in his first outing against St. Louis since taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning of Game 1 of the 2019 NLCS.
Washington scored on sacrifice fly balls by Luis García in the second and Josh Bell in the sixth. The Nationals failed to muster any other offense against Mikolas, who gave up six hits and a walk while striking out four.
Cardinals: C Yadier Molina (right knee) was 0 for 3 with a hit by pitch and a stolen base as the designated hitter Thursday in the first game of his rehabilitation assignment with Memphis. Molina is expected to catch Saturday and Sunday. … RHP Drew VerHagen (right hip) threw a side session Friday. … RHP Jack Flaherty (shoulder) threw a side session Thursday in the Los Angeles area. Manager Oliver Marmol said he could join the team in St. Louis next week. … OF Harrison Bader (right foot) will wear a protective boot for the next two weeks.
Nationals: RHP Reed Garrett (biceps inflammation) pitched a scoreless inning Friday in his first rehab appearance for Triple-A Rochester.
OF Elijah Green, the No. 5 overall pick in this year’s draft, took batting practice with Washington. Green signed July 22 and will report to the Nationals’ Florida Complex League affiliate Monday.
St. Louis removed 3B Nolan Arenado, C Austin Romine and Goldschmidt from the restricted list and optioned OF Conner Capel and C Ivan Herrera to Triple-A Memphis and outrighted INF Cory Spangenberg to Memphis.
Cardinals: RHP Dakota Hudson (6-6, 4.10 ERA), who is 2-1 with a 2.93 ERA in six lifetime appearances against Washington, will come off the injured list to start Saturday.
Nationals: RHP Erick Fedde (5-7, 4.95), who is 0-2 with a 7.11 ERA, 11 strikeouts and 13 walks in four July starts, draws the start as the series continues.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports