St. Louis Cardinals Lose Sixth Straight On Walk-Off Shot

The St. Louis Cardinals look to rebound from their sweep against the Milwaukee Brewers in a road trip to the home of the Washington Nationals.

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St. Louis Cardinals Lose Sixth Straight As Nationals Walk Off

A start from surprise ace Kyle Lohse and Matt Holliday’s return from the disabled list weren’t enough to keep the St. Louis Cardinals from losing their sixth consecutive game Thursday night, falling to the Washington Nationals in their second consecutive three-game sweep. Holliday, Yadier Molina, and Albert Pujols homered in the loss, which dropped the Cardinals to 38-32, one game back of the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central.

The Cardinals’ bullpen has increasingly become a sore spot, with outstanding rookie right-hander Eduardo Sanchez back in St. Louis for tests on his stiff right shoulder and veterans Ryan Franklin, Miguel Batista, Trever Miller, and Brian Tallet stuck in slumps that have made manager Tony La Russa reluctant to use them at all. The result has been increased innings for rookie closer Fernando Salas, who struggled in his second inning of work before giving up a walk-off home run to second baseman Danny Espinoza.

The Cardinals will attempt to end their losing streak at home Friday night, when Chris Carpenter comes to the mound against the surprisingly tough Kansas City Royals.

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St. Louis Cardinals Lose Fifth Straight In Livan Hernandez Shutout

Livan Hernandez shut out the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday, picking up the ninth CGSO of his long career and getting his record all the way up to—170-171. It wasn't a banner game for the Cardinals, who also gave up 10 runs to Washington Nationals hitters, including two home runs from Mike Morse, currently fifth in the National League in slugging percentage. Albert Pujols made two errors at third base; Ryan Franklin gave up four runs in a little less than two innings; Kyle McClellan lost in his first game back from the disabled list.

"It was just kind of a frustrating game," McClellan said after the game, and no Cardinals fan is likely to disagree about the fifth straight loss the team has taken since starting their series with the Milwaukee Brewers over the weekend 2.5 games ahead in the National League Central. 

The good news: The Cardinals are set to get Matt Holliday back in time for Thursday's game. With Eduardo Sanchez out with shoulder stiffness the team's still at half strength, but Holliday, at least, hasn't got another appendix to inflame. 

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