Wong's tiebreaking double in 8th helps Cardinals top Nats
WASHINGTON (AP) Kolten Wong keeps causing trouble for the Washington Nationals.
Wong homered and drove in the tiebreaking run with a double in the eighth inning to lift the St. Louis Cardinals to a 7-5 victory over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night.
Wong finished 3 for 4 for the second straight night. He hit a two-run homer in the second inning and the tie-breaking double gave him three RBIs.
He also made two spectacular plays at second base and a third good one, helping St. Louis on offense and defense.
''You always want to try and have that one game where you can play both sides really well, and (this) was my night,'' Wong said. ''I got to play well on both sides, and I got to help to contribute to the win.''
Wong ranged into short center field to grab grounders and throw out Yunel Escobar to end the fifth and Wilson Ramos starting the sixth. He also made a nice play later that inning on Danny Espinosa's grounder, going far to his left and throwing to pitcher John Lackey covering first.
''(He) had a huge day,'' St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. ''There's a couple of plays there you just don't think that there's any chance. Just overall a very good day for Kolten.''
The tiebreaking hit might have been Wong's biggest moment. Jon Jay drew a one-out walk off Blake Treinen (0-2) in the eighth and moved to third on Yadier Molina's single. Wong then sliced a double down the left-field line, scoring Jay to break a 5-5 tie.
Matt Adams added a solo homer in the ninth off Rafael Martin to close the scoring.
Kevin Siegrist (1-0) pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings and Trevor Rosenthal got the last three outs for his fifth save as St. Louis won for the sixth time in seven games.
The Cardinals appeared headed for an easy night after taking a 5-0 lead in the third inning.
Matt Carpenter led off the game with a homer off Washington starter Doug Fister, and Wong added his two-run shot in the second. The Cardinals added two more in the third for the five-run lead.
The Nationals then bounced back with five runs in the third, tying the game on Yunel Escobar's three-run double with two outs off Lackey.
''I'm proud of the guys for fighting,'' Nationals manager Matt Williams said. ''It's one of those days where you could just easily fold the tent and say it's not our day, but they came back and made a game of it.''
Cardinals: OF Randal Grichuk is making progress toward a return. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Wednesday that Grichuk is moving around well but have yet to talk about a rehab assignment. Grichuk went on the disabled list with a lower back strain last Friday.
Nationals: 3B Anthony Rendon (sprained left knee) played five innings in extended spring training on Wednesday and is coming back to Washington for a workout with the Nationals on Thursday. He'll then head to Double-A Harrisburg to begin a rehab assignment on Friday. Manager Matt Williams said he wasn't sure of a timeline for Rendon returning to the Nationals but they wanted to get him up to playing nine innings and a bunch of at-bats.
WELCOME TO THE BIG LEAGUES
Nationals left-hander Matt Grace made his major league debut in this game. Called up earlier in the day when LHP Felipe Rivero (intestinal bleed) went on the 15-day disabled list, Grace threw a scoreless seventh inning, walking one without giving up a hit while the teams were locked in a 5-5 tie.
Lackey made two errors on one play in the bottom of the fourth inning. Denard Span hit a grounder back to the box that Lackey fielded, then dropped and then threw wildly past first. However, the Nationals stranded Span at second.
Cardinals RHP Michael Wacha (2-0, 1.35) has beaten the Reds in his first two starts, giving up a total of two runs while winning both times.
Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer (1-1, 0.83), a St. Louis native, is coming off a stellar eight-inning effort in a victory over the Phillies last Friday. He has already struck out 25 in 21 2-3 innings this season.