Nationals vs. Cardinals: Washington Rallies Late to Secure 3-2 Win in Game 1

Rick WeinerFeatured ColumnistOctober 7, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 04:  Tyler Moore #57 of the Washington Nationals hits a single in the eighth inning against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park on August 4, 2012 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Pinch-hitter Tyler Moore took advantage of Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma's error to start the eighth inning, as his two-run single off of Cardinals reliever Mark Rzepczynski helped the Nationals secure a 3-2 victory in the opening game of the National League Division Series.

Kozma booted a ground ball by Nationals right fielder Michael Morse to start the inning, and Ian Desmond's single advanced Morse to third base. After Kurt Suzuki struck out, Nationals manager Davey Johnson sent Chad Tracy to pinch hit for pitcher Ryan Mattheus.

Cardinals skipper Mike Matheny countered with Rzepczynski, Johnson countered with Moore, and the rest is history.

St. Louis wasted a solid effort from starting pitcher Adam Wainwright, who aside from a second-inning RBI single by Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki, kept the Nationals at bay, scattering six hits over 5.2 innings of work, walking three and striking out 10.

Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez held the Cardinals to one hit, but struggled with his command, walking hitters with the bases loaded twice in the second inning and finishing with a career-high seven walks over five innings.

A Gonzalez wild pitch would allow Yadier Molina to score the tying run, and after walking Wainwright to reload the bases, Cardinals leadoff hitter Jon Jay hit a sacrifice fly that scored second baseman Daniel Descalso.

Game 2 gets underway at 4:30 p.m. ET on Monday afternoon. The Nationals send Jordan Zimmerman (12-8, 2.94 ERA) to the hill to face the Cardinals' Jaime Garcia (7-7, 3.92 ERA).