Wacha's losing streak continues Cardinals fall 10-2 to Nats

WASHINGTON (AP) In fairness to Michael Wacha, nobody is beating Stephen Strasburg these days. Then again, Wacha is racking up losses no matter the opponent for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Wacha pitched six innings of three-run ball and dropped his sixth straight decision when St. Louis lost 10-2 to Strasburg and the Washington Nationals on Sunday.

''Michael was good today,'' Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. ''Shame that we couldn't score him some runs.''

Wacha allowed four hits, struck out six and walked one while throwing 86 pitches. He was unable to complete more than four innings in any of his three previous starts while allowing 20 earned runs combined.

''It's a good start to build off of,'' Wacha said.

Strasburg won his 12th consecutive decision dating to last season and Jayson Werth connected for a pinch-hit grand slam. Wilson Ramos drove in four runs, and Bryce Harper hit an RBI single during Washington's three-run fourth inning off Wacha (2-6).

The Cardinals' taxed bullpen let the game spiral out of control. Three relievers each allowed one home run, including Werth's drive during a five-run seventh.

Brandon Moss hit a solo home run off Strasburg for a short-lived lead. Matt Holliday had three hits for the Cardinals, who left 10 runners on base.

Strasburg (9-0) pitched six innings of one-run ball as Washington salvaged a split of the four-game series. The Nationals went 5-2 against the Cardinals this season.

The Nationals went 1 for 13 with no RBIs with runners in scoring position over the first three games of the series. That futility ended in the fourth. Following Michael Taylor's leadoff double, Harper's single tied it at 1.

Ryan Zimmerman's one-out double put runners on second and third. After Anthony Rendon struck out, Ramos drove in both runners with a two-out single.

Strasburg improved to 12-0 in 15 starts since losing to the Mets on Sept. 9, and the Nationals have won all 15 of those games. The 12 consecutive winning decisions is a franchise record for a starter, breaking a mark shared by Livan Hernandez (2005) and Dennis Martinez (1989).

He has kept right on rolling after finalizing a $175 million, seven-year contract with Washington on May 10.

''He's certainly earning his money,'' Nationals manager Dusty Baker said.

Werth's drive off Dean Kiekhefer highlighted the decisive five-run seventh as Washington batted around. Rendon started the inning with a homer off Jonathan Broxton after St. Louis made it 3-2 in the top of the inning on Matt Adams' sacrifice fly.

GO BIG

Moss tied third baseman Matt Carpenter with a team-high nine home runs. Of his 27 hits, 15 have gone for extra bases.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Cardinals: Adams went 0 for 2 with a walk in his first start since exiting Thursday's game with mid-back stiffness. He had a two-run, pinch-hit double in Saturday's 9-4 win.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: St. Louis opens a three-game series at Milwaukee with RHP Carlos Martinez (4-5, 4.25 ERA) to face RHP Junior Guerra (3-0, 3.30 ERA).

Nationals: Washington's nine-game road trip opens Monday in Philadelphia. The Nationals' Tanner Roark (3-4, 2.71 ERA) will face fellow RHP Jeremy Hellickson (4-3, 3.97 ERA).

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