Edwin Jackson failed to get out of the second inning, and the Nationals couldn't gain any traction against Adam Wainwright as St. Louis cruised to a 12-2 victory at Busch Stadium Friday night. Washington got on the board first, as Adam LaRoche knocked in Bryce Harper in the top of the first, but that was the end of the good news for the Nats.
Jackson struggled early, as seven of St. Louis' first eight batters reached base. Jackson gave up four hits and walked two, and an error by Ryan Zimmerman ended any chance that Washington had to get out of the inning with minimal damage. By the time Wainwright grounded into a double play to end the inning, the Nats found themselves down 5-1. Jackson actually fared worse in the second, allowing three hits, while giving up two walks and throwing two wild pitches. The parting shot was a two-run homer by Yadier Molina that stretched the lead to 9-1 and brought Tom Gorzelanny into the game with only one out.
Meanwhile, Wainwright cruised through his six innings, striking out five. Roger Bernadina hit a solo shot in the seventh off of Joe Kelly, but that would end the scoring for Washington. The Cardinals would add three more off Mike Gonzalez in the eighth.
Despite the loss, Washington's magic number to clinch the division title was lowered to two as Atlanta lost to New York. The Nats will send Jordan Zimmermann to the mound Saturday against Kyle Lohse.