WASHINGTON (AP) — Paul DeJong homered for the second straight day after ending a minor league demotion, Andre Pallante pitched into the ninth inning and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Washington Nationals 5-0 Sunday.
Corey Dickerson also homered for the Cardinals, who broke the game open in the fourth inning against starter Josiah Gray (7-7).
Washington star Juan Soto was 0 for 3 with a walk. Soto is one of several Nationals who could be dealt before Tuesday’s trade deadline. Washington has the worst record in the majors at 35-68 and went 6-19 in July.
An All-Star in 2019, DeJong was demoted to Triple-A Memphis in May after hitting .130 with one home run in 24 games. He seemed to rediscover his power stroke with the Redbirds, slugging 17 homers in 51 games, including one in each of his final three games.
“I think it just allows me to hit the ground running,” DeJong said. “It’s like I’m back in the game, like I never left. I’m just trying to keep that confidence like I had down there and translate it up here. It’s still baseball.”
DeJong homered in his return Saturday, then connected again in the sixth inning Sunday against Jordan Weems.
“It’s fun to have him here,” St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol said. “It’s cool to see him doing what we expect him to do. Two games, two homers, swinging a good bat. That’s definitely going to help us do what we’re trying to do here.”
Pallante (4-4) allowed five hits in eight-plus innings and earned his first road victory for St. Louis, which ends July a game behind Philadelphia for the NL’s third wild card. The Cardinals went 4-4 on their three-city, eight-game trip coming out of the All-Star break.
Pallante struck out a career-high eight and walked one. The Nationals didn’t get a…