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Miles Mikolas bounces back to lead Cards past Nationals

Jul 29, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Miles Mikolas (39) pitches against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Nolan Gorman and Lars Nootbaar hit back-to-back home runs and Miles Mikolas tossed seven strong innings as the visiting St. Louis Cardinals opened a three-game series against the Washington Nationals with a 6-2 victory on Friday.

St. Louis improved to 3-3 on its eight-game road trip behind Mikolas (8-8), who bounced back from his worst start of the season. He allowed two runs on six hits, walked one and struck out four.

Josh Bell had two hits and drove in a run for Washington, which went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and fell to 5-18 this month.

The Nationals took an early lead in the second inning when Bell scored on Luis Garcia’s sacrifice fly.

St. Louis answered with three runs in the third against Anibal Sanchez (0-3). Andrew Knizner and Tommy Edman began the frame with back-to-back singles, and Edman stole second. Knizner scored and Edman moved to third on Dylan Carlson’s groundout.

Tyler O’Neill walked and stole second. Edman came home on a wild pitch that sent O’Neill to third, and Paul Goldschmidt followed with a run-scoring groundout.

The Cardinals tacked on three runs with two outs in the sixth. Gorman belted a two-run homer to right field, and Nootbaar followed with a 401-foot blast to center.

Gorman collected the 11th homer of his rookie season and his second in as many games. Nootbaar belted his fifth.

Sanchez allowed six runs on six hits over 5 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out four in his third start of the season.

Mikolas turned in a solid outing after yielding six runs over five frames in a 6-3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.

The Nationals pushed a run across in the bottom of the sixth when Cesar Hernandez hit a leadoff double, moved to third on a balk and scored on Bell’s sacrifice fly.

Mikolas allowed consecutive singles to Yadiel Hernandez and Garcia to open the seventh inning before retiring the next three batters in order.

Genesis Cabrera and Giovanny Gallegos each allowed a hit in one scoreless inning to close out the win.

–Field Level Media