Flipping the calendar from April to May did not slow down the Cardinals’ Marcell Ozuna and Jose Martinez on Wednesday night in Washington, D.C.
Ozuna had three hits and an RBI and Martinez contributed two hits and two RBIs as the Cardinals beat the Nationals for their fifth consecutive victory.
Since moving into the starting lineup on April 16, Martinez has started the last 14 games, during which he has 22 hits in 50 at-bats and 10 RBIs. In his last 18 games, Ozuna has gone 21-of-66 with 24 RBIs.
Three of the Cardinals’ runs came in the first inning off Max Scherzer, who has won only two of 10 career starts against the Cardinals.
The win improved the Cardinals’ record to 10 games over .500 at 20-10. They are 10-1 in their last 11 games.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals had four consecutive one-out hits in the first inning off Scherzer, singles by Paul Goldschmidt and Paul DeJong, the RBI double from Ozuna and an RBI single from Martinez … It was only the second career hit for Goldschmidt off Scherzer in 19 at-bats … DeJong’s single extended his hitting streak to 11 games. He has at least one hit in 27 of the Cardinals 30 games so far this season … The Cardinals added two insurance runs in the eighth when Ozuna walked and scored on a double by Martinez, who scored later in the inning … Martinez’s two hits raised his season average to .375 … The Cardinals have scored all of their runs in four of the 27 innings they have played in the first three games of the series.
On the mound: Miles Mikolas scattered seven hits over six innings to get the win before turning the game over to the bullpen with a 3-1 lead. He walked one and struck out four … Giovanny Gallegos pitched a scoreless seventh and John Brebbia worked the final two innings, lowering his ERA for the season to 0.49.
Key stat: The Nationals had a combined two hits in 11 at-bats against Gallegos and Brebbia and in the first three games of the series the Cardinals’ relievers have allowed just three hits in 32 at-bats. During the current five-game winning streak the bullpen has allowed two runs in 11 2/3 innings.
Worth noting: Luke Gregerson threw live batting practice before the game and the reliever is expected to be activated from the injured list at some point in the next couple of days … Top prospect Nolan Gorman hit his seventh homer of the season for the Peoria Chiefs in the first game of a doubleheader on Wednesday night. He has the seven homers and 22 RBIs in his first 24 games of the season … Dexter Fowler missed his second consecutive game because of the flu, but was feeling better, according to manager Mike Shildt.
Looking ahead: Dakota Hudson will get the start on Thursday as the Cardinals try to complete the sweep of the four-game series. Stephen Strasburg will start for Washington. Game time 3:05 p.m. St. Louis time.