ST. LOUIS (AP) — Kyle Schwarber doubled in a run in his delayed Nationals debut, Andrew Stevenson had a pinch-hit homer and Washington beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-2 Monday night.
Schwarber, Josh Bell and Josh Harrison were in the starting lineup after being sidelined for Washington’s first six games by a coronavirus outbreak that prompted the postponement of the team’s season-opening series and left the club short-handed. The Nats ended a five-game skid, while the Cardinals have lost three straight.
Stevenson hit his first homer of the season into St. Louis’ bullpen in right field to lead off the seventh, putting Washington ahead 4-2. The solo shot was just his fourth homer in 221 career at-bats.
Kyle Finnegan (1-0) pitched 1 1/3 innings, giving up a run on one hit. He also struck out two.
Schwarber, acquired in the offseason after being nontendered by the Chicago Cubs, hit a 1-0 pitch from starter John Gant into right-center to drive in Juan Soto, who singled to start the sixth.
The Nationals added a run on the next pitch off reliever Giovanny Gallegos when Starlin Castro hit a sacrifice fly in foul territory to right, driving in Bell.
Gant (0-1) went five innings and gave up three runs. He allowed six hits, struck out four and walked three.
The Nationals had a chance to blow the game open when the first four batters reached to start the eighth against reliever Andrew Miller, including Castro singling in Bell. Ryan Helsley struck out Yan Gomes, and pinch-hitter Ryan Zimmerman flew out to center fielder Dylan Carlson, who threw Schwarber out at home to end the inning.
Yadier Molina hit his second homer of the season in the sixth to pull the Cardinals within 3-2.
Matt Carpenter broke an 0 for 12 start to the season with a bunt single in the third and scored on…