WASHINGTON — Within 23 pitches, the Cardinals had built a three-run lead against Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals. And that pretty much was enough.
On the strength of that half-inning, St. Louis beat Washington 4-2 Wednesday to complete a sweep and give the Nationals ace the only four-start losing streak of his career.
"It was good to get on Strasburg early," Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma said. "That's what we were trying to do from the get-go."
The Nationals have lost six consecutive home games and nine of their past 12 overall to fall to 10-11.
With his team averaging 2.9 runs over its past 12 games, Washington manager Davey Johnson said he would insert bench player Steve Lombardozzi in the lineup today against the Reds, among other changes.
"We're just not doing the things we're capable of doing right now," Johnson said. "It'll change, but I'm going to have to jumble things up a little bit, try to light a fire."