Game Report: Nationals 8, Cardinals 3

If the Cardinals want to have a positive thought about their slow start to the season, here it is: The last time they started a season 2-6, they won the World Series.

That came back in 2011, but that poor start included three one-run losses, a big difference from what has happened to the Cardinals in the last three games.

The Nationals scored 8 runs on Tuesday night, marking the third consecutive game the Cardinals allowed eight runs or more. That is only the second time they have done that since 2001, when they allowed eight or more runs in four consecutive games. They also gave up eight or more runs in three consecutive games in 2012.

The biggest nemesis on this night was Daniel Murphy, who had four hits and drove in five runs, including one of the Nationals’ three homers off Lance Lynn.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate
: Randal Grichuk and Aledmys Diaz hit solo homers for the Cardinals. Combined they have hit five homers so far this season, with the rest of the team having hit one (Gyorko). .. Dexter Fowler did get his first extra-base hit, a double, and later scored In the first inning but that was his only hit in four at-bats, which nonetheless raised his average to .161 …Stephen Piscotty was 0-for-4 and is hitting .176; Jhonny Peralta was 0-for-3 and has a .150 average and Grichuk was 1-for-4 and has a .194 average … Jose Martinez got his first start, at first base, and had two singles.

On the mound:
Lynn allowed six of the Washington runs, four of them earned, in five innings. Jayson Werth and Matt Wieters hit solo homers in the fourth before Murphy’s two-run homer in the fifth … Lynn walked Bryce Harper in his first three plate
appearances, allowing him to become the first player since Lance Berkman in 2011 to reach base in nine consecutive plate appearances against the Cardinals … Miguel Socolovich allowed one run in his two innings of relief and the final Nationals run scored off Seung Hwan Oh, who has allowed at least one run in all three of his appearances this season.

Key stats: This was the third time in Lynn’s career he allowed three homers in a game. The others were in 2012 against Kansas City and in 2013 against Cincinnati. … The Cardinals have now allowed 10 homers in the first eight games. They did not give up their 10th homer last year until April 25, in their 19th game of the year.

Worth noting: The last player on the Nationals to have a five-RBI game against the Cardinals was Adam Dunn in 2010 … Matt Carpenter got the night off, although he did draw a walk as a pinch-hitter in the ninth … Yadie Molina hit third for the first time this year and had a sacrifice fly Washington starter Gio Gonzalez retired the last 11 batters he faced between the fourth and seventh innings … Carson Kelly had a two-home run game for Memphis on Tuesday night, his first two homers of the season.

Looking ahead: The Cardinals will have to beat Max Scherzer on Wednesday to avoid being swept by the Nationals in the three-game series. Mike Leake will get the start for the Cardinals in the 3:05 p.m. St. Louis time game.