WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington’s Yan Gomes drew a four-pitch walk from Giovanny Gallegos to force in the go-ahead run in an odd eighth inning that also featured St. Louis deploying a five-man infield, and the Nationals came back to edge the Cardinals 3-2 on Tuesday night.
St. Louis led 2-1 entering the eighth. But Gallegos (2-1) walked a batter, then hit one, before Trea Turner’s RBI single to right on an 0-2 count tied the game.
One out and one intentional walk later, Gallegos faced Starlin Castro with the bases full, and Cardinals manager Mike Shildt removed an outfielder he had just inserted in the middle of the inning in favor of an extra infielder, Edmundo Sosa. That left the Cards with only a pair of corner outfielders.
The strategy worked out fine, because Gallegos got Castro looking at strike three on a 94 mph fastball. But then came the free pass to Gomes that put the hosts ahead — and gave them a win on a day they put slugger Juan Soto on the 10-day injured list with a strained left shoulder.
Daniel Hudson (2-0) threw a perfect eighth for the win, and Brad Hand pitched the ninth for his second save in two chances with Washington.
It was the Cardinals’ first one-run game all season; every other club in the majors already had participated in at least two.
Both starting pitchers performed well, but neither factored in the decision.
Washington’s Patrick Corbin tossed six scoreless innings, removed with a 1-0 lead despite having thrown merely 76 pitches.
St. Louis’ Adam Wainwright struck out 10 while allowing one run in seven innings and left with a 2-1 lead. The only blemish: Josh Bell, who was batting .115, hit his first homer for the Nationals on a first-pitch curveball in the sixth.
He finished with a flourish, too, striking out his last four batters,…