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Cardinals get to Strasburg early, beat Nationals, 4-2

  • Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa, left, can't hang onto the ball as St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Carpenter (13) is safe at second with a double during the first inning of a baseball game at Nationals Park, Wednesday, April 24, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa, left, can't hang onto the ball as St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Carpenter (13) is safe at second with a double during the first inning of a baseball game at Nationals Park, Wednesday, April 24, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

  • Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa, left, can't hang onto the ball as St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Carpenter (13) is safe at second with a double during the first inning of a baseball game at Nationals Park, Wednesday, April 24, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa, left, can't hang onto the ball as St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Carpenter (13) is safe at second with a double during the first inning of a baseball game at Nationals Park, Wednesday, April 24, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

  • Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa, left, can't hang onto the ball as St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Carpenter (13) is safe at second with a double during the first inning of a baseball game at Nationals Park, Wednesday, April 24, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa, left, can't hang onto the ball as St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Carpenter (13) is safe at second with a double during the first inning of a baseball game at Nationals Park, Wednesday, April 24, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Yadier Molina hit a two-run single off Stephen Strasburg during St. Louis’s three-run first inning, and the Cardinals beat the Nationals, 4-2, yesterday to complete a sweep and give Washington’s All-Star ace the only four-start losing streak of his young career.

Jaime Garcia (2-1) allowed a run on Bryce Harper’s sixth-inning groundout, but otherwise added to the offensive struggles of the Nationals, who have lost six consecutive home games and nine of their last 12 overall to fall to 10-11.

Washington produced only four runs in the three-game set, a rematch of the 2012 NL division series won by St. Louis.

Needing to be nearly perfect given Washington’s lack of offense, Strasburg (1-4) struggled through a 26-pitch, 12-minute first inning.

Strasburg, who hasn’t won since opening day against Miami, settled down and threw 110 pitches over seven innings, giving up no other runs and a total of five hits, along with seven strikeouts.

ROCKIES 6, BRAVES 5, 12 INN.

Wilin Rosario scored on Yorvit Torrealba’s single to left in the 12th inning after Colorado had rallied in the ninth to deny Atlanta’s Tim Hudson his 200th career win.

Michael Cuddyer and Josh Rutledge homered for the Rockies, who ended a three-game skid behind one-hit pitching by the bullpen over the last six innings. Matt Belisle (1-1), the fourth reliever used by Colorado, pitched two perfect frames.

Rosario led off the 12th with a double to left off Luis Ayala (1-1). After Cuddyer was intentionally walked, Belisle struck out on a bunt attempt. Torrealba ripped a single to left, and Justin Upton’s throw home was wide as Rosario slid in with the winning run.

DIAMONDBACKS 3, GIANTS 2, 10 INN.

Pinch hitter Will Nieves delivered a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning to lift Arizona to a victory over San Francisco.

Gerardo Parra and A.J. Pollack also drove in a run for the Diamondbacks, who beat the Giants in 11 innings Tuesday night. Didi Gregorius had two hits.

Arizona led 2-1 before Brandon Crawford hit a tying homer off David Hernandez (1-0) with one out in the ninth. Crawford also doubled home a run in the seventh and finished with three hits.

Matt Reynolds got three outs for his second save in as many days.

Chad Gaudin (0-1) worked 2∕ 3 -inning in taking the loss.

Pirates 5, Phillies 3

Pinch hitter Brandon Inge hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the eighth inning and Pittsburgh rallied to beat Philadelphia.

Roy Halladay pitched six innings of one-hit ball and Chase Utley and Ryan Howard hit upper-deck solo homers off Wandy Rodriguez, but Mike Adams (1-2) couldn’t protect an eighth-inning lead.

Pedro Alvarez hit a solo homer off Antonio Bastardo in the seventh and his RBI single in the fourth was the only hit off Halladay.

REDS 1, CUBS 0

Mat Latos retired the first 10 batters and 15 of the first 16 he faced and mostly spared an overworked bullpen, leading Cincinnati over Chicago.

Todd Frazier hit a long home run to provide all the scoring Latos would need. With one out in the sixth inning of a scoreless tie, Frazier blasted a 2-1 pitch from Jeff Samardzija (1-4) 480 feet to straightaway center field to increase his team-leading home run total to six.

Latos (1-0), the victim of two blown saves among his first four starts this season, allowed four hits and a walk with four strikeouts. Aroldis Chapman pitched the ninth for his fourth save.

Samardzija (1-4) allowed seven hits and three walks with eight strikeouts and a wild pitch.

Mets 7, Dodgers 3, 10 inn.

Jordany Valdespin hit a grand slam in the 10th inning and New York rallied past Los Angeles to save early sensation Matt Harvey from his first loss of the season.

David Wright tied it with a two-out single in the ninth off Los Angeles closer Brandon League, handed his first blown save in six chances.

Matt Kemp hit his first homer of the year and drove in three runs as the Dodgers grabbed a 3-1 lead against Harvey.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

BLUE JAYS 6, ORIOLES 5, 11 inn.

Jim Johnson walked Maicer Izturis with the bases loaded in the 11th inning to force in the tiebreaking run, and the Blue Jays beat the Orioles to avert a three-game sweep and end Baltimore’s run of consecutive extra-inning victories at 17.

The Blue Jays hit four home runs, but the decisive run came without Izturis taking a swing. With two outs in the 11th, J.P. Arencibia and Munenori Kawaski singled before Johnson (1-2) hit Brett Lawrie with a pitch and issued a four-pitch walk to Izturis, the No. 9 hitter in the lineup.

Rays 3, Yankees 0

Alex Cobb scattered three hits over 8 1∕3 innings, Ben Zobrist drove in two runs and Tampa Bay beat New York.

Cobb (3-1) gave up only two hits through the eighth – Eduardo Nunez’s second-inning single and an infield single by Jayson Nix in the sixth.

Zobrist put the Rays up 2-0 on a two-out, two-run double off Andy Pettitte (3-1) in the fifth.

WHITE SOX 3, INDIANS 2

Alex Rios hit a two-run homer and the White Sox beat the Indians to stop a four-game losing streak.

Jeff Keppinger had two hits and drove in a run for the White Sox, who earned a split of the rain-shortened series. Jose Quintana (2-0) was charged with two runs and four hits in five-plus innings.

ASTROS 10, MARINERS 3

Chris Carter, Ronny Cedeno and Brandon Laird homered, Lucas Harrell pitched seven innings, and the Astros beat the Mariners.

The Astros took two of three in the series, and four of their seven wins this season have come against the Mariners, their new AL West foe. Seattle and Miami are the only teams without a series win this season.

Harrell (2-2) allowed a run and six hits.

Tigers 7, Royals 5

Jose Valverde returned to Detroit with a save and Victor Martinez drove in a pair of runs to help the Tigers beat Kansas City.

Max Scherzer (2-0) got the win, allowing five runs in five innings, with three Tigers relievers finishing the game.

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