Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Albert Pujols hit career home run No. 401 and rookie Jaime Garcia picked up his 12th win of the season as the Cardinals righted the ship with a 4-2 victory against the Nationals.
Matt Holliday also homered and added an RBI single to back the efforts of Garcia (12-6), who matched a career best with seven strikeouts while working around four walks and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings.
St. Louis moved to 2-3 on its 10-game road trip against the likes of non- contending teams in Pittsburgh, Washington and Houston. The defending National League Central champs snapped a three-game skid with the win, but could only stay four games back of the Reds in the division with Cincinnati's win over the Cubs on Friday.
Ryan Franklin labored through a second straight shaky outing, yielding a run on two hits and a walk in the ninth before settling on his 22nd save. He got Ivan Rodriguez to ground to second with runners at the corners to end the game.