09/16 23:27 CDT Ozuna's 4 RBIs, throw to plate lift Cards over Nats 4-2
Ozuna's 4 RBIs, throw to plate lift Cards over Nats 4-2
By WARREN MAYES
ST. LOUIS (AP) --- Dakota Hudson is a big fan of Marcell Ozuna's arm.
Ozuna drove in four runs and threw out a runner at home plate from left field,
leading the St. Louis Cardinals over the Washington Nationals 4-2 on Monday
"That's the second one he's had for me this year," Hudson said of Ozuna assist
at the plate. "He's looking really good. He threw a perfect one in there to
save a run."
St. Louis maintained a two-game NL Central lead over the second-place Chicago
Cubs, who closed within a half-game of the Nationals for the top NL wild card
Nationals manager Dave Martinez missed the game following a heart procedure in
Washington, and bench coach Chip Hale was in charge of the dugout.
"I'm sure he'll give us a call after the game if he's up," Hale said. "I know
he's been through a battery of tests. Hopefully he's feeling good."
Ozuna hit a two-run homer in the first off Stephen Strasburg, who walked Dexter
Fowler leading off.
"I was in the same division as him and I faced him a lot," Ozuna said. "I know
this guy. I know what I can handle to get a good at-bat."
Ozuna has faced Strasburg 41 times and has 12 hits, including three home runs
and six RBIs.
"I figured based on his numbers that Ozuna would have a good night, but I feel
that way every night about him," St. Louis manager Mike Shildt said. "It was a
nice, nice job by him all the way around tonight. I'm pleased with the homer
and two-run but the throw, he's put a lot of time, effort and energy in his
arm. He is sincere about being a complete player."
Washington tied the score 2-2 on Vctor Robles' RBI single in the fourth and
Anthony Rendon's 34th homer leading off the sixth. Ozuna charged on Robles' hit
and made a one-hop throw to catcher Yadier Molina, who tagged out Asdrbal
Cabrera trying to score from second.
"I'm getting my rhythm back," Ozuna said. "I'm almost there."
Sean Doolittle (6-5) walked Fowler with one out in the seventh, Hunter
Strickland walked Paul Goldschmidt with two outs and Ozuna doubled just inside
the left-field line, just the second hit in 11 at-bats for the Cardinals with
runners in scoring position.
"He just missed with his pitch," Hale said. "He just sort of pulled it across
the plate, and Ozuna did a nice job."
Hudson (16-7) won for the sixth time in seven starts, giving up two runs and
five hits in seven innings.
"I didn't have very much tonight," Hudson said. "The ball was moving a lot, but
I didn't have the best command. I had to battle with what I had."
John Brebbia, Andrew Miller and Martnez followed with perfect relief. One day
after he was released from a hospital following respiratory problems caused by
asthma and allergies, Martinez needed just two pitches to retired Ryan
Zimmerman on a flyout for his 20th save in 23 chances.
"I told them I had two innings in me because right now, I feel good. I needed
just two pitches," Martinez said. "I'm focused to compete. I was happy to get
out there. They need me. I'm ready for tomorrow and the next day."
Strasburg gave up two runs, three hits and four walks in five innings, his
shortest outing since Aug. 3. He is 3-2 in his last nine outings after winning
seven straight starts in late June and July, leaving his record at 17-6.
Miller tied his season best with his 27th hold.
Molina, Kolten Wong, Tommy Edman and Dexter Fowler all stole second base,
raising the Cardinals' NL-leading total to 109.
Nationals: LHP Patrick Corbin (12-7, 3.20) is 1-2 with a 4.89 ERA against the
Cardinals. His lone win came in 2016 when he pitched for Arizona.
Cardinals: RHP Miles Mikolas (9-13, 4.28) beat the Nationals 5-1 on May 1 when
matched against Max Scherzer.
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