Washington Nationals starter Tom Gorzelanny put the Nats in an early first-inning hole, the offense was unable to solve Cardinals pitcher Kyle Lohse and the Nationals relief was anything but in a 5-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium Thursday. The Cardinals take the series between the two teams with convincing authority.
In the first-inning Gorzelanny got two quick outs before walking dangerous first baseman Albert Pujols. The Cardinals made the lefty pitcher pay as the next batter, Matt Holliday took Gorzo deep for a two-run shot. It is the third start in a row Gorzelanny has given up a home run during the game. Gorzelanny continues to lead the team in home runs given up with five. Gorzelanny settled down not long after that, but ended walking four batters during the day and never looked fully confident on the mound
The Cardinals then unloaded on recently called up reliever Collin Balester in the eighth after Balester was having trouble finding the strike zone. After walking Holliday, Balester gave up a two-run bomb of his own to Albert Pujols. Balester could only record one out in the inning and ended up getting the hook after giving up three runs on two hits and walking two. Holliday would later score after a David Freese double.
St. Louis rarely broke a sweat as Lohse completely shut the Nats offense down and racked up the zeros on the scoreboard. Lohse ended up with a two-hit complete game shutout. Outfielders Michael Morse and Jayson Werth were the only Nationals to record hits in the game.
The Nationals fall back to .500 and a record of 9-9 while maintaining third place in the NL East. The Nationals travel to Pittsburgh to begin a series with the Pirates on Friday starting at 7:05 P.M. EST.