Sanchez carries no-no into 8th as Nats drop Cardinals 2-0 in Game 1
Anibal Sanchez carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning and the Washington Nationals scratched out single runs in the second and seventh innings to steal Game 1 on the road, 2-0 over the St. Louis Cardinals, in the opening game of the National League Championship Series Friday night.
Having burned Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin to get through the division series, the Nationals’ No. 4 starter took the ball with lowered expectations Friday night. But Sanchez delivered 7.2 innings before pinch hitter Jose Martinez lined a single to center field with two outs in the eighth.
The Cardinals got two runners as far as third base, but couldn’t score against Sanchez or Sean Doolittle, who came on to record the final four outs.
The Nationals departed the warmth of the NLDS in Los Angeles for a frigid St. Louis, where temperature at first pitch was just 45 degrees and fell throughout the evening, putting a damper on the offenses. The Nats threatened all night, but stranded 13 baserunners in all.
Washington got on the board early, as Yan Gomes followed Howie Kendrick’s leadoff double in the top of the second two batters later with a two-base hit of his own to put the Nats on top 1-0.
The Nationals loaded the bases on two singles and a walk in the top of the fifth, but Mikolas got Juan Soto to ground out to end the threat, and the two appeared to have an exchange after the out.
Kendrick delivered the second run, singling to center field with two outs in the top of the seventh, scoring Adam Eaton, who had tripled with one out.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series will match up Missouri native Max Scherzer and Cardinals veteran Adam Wainwright at 4:08 p.m. Saturday.