Adam LaRoche home run gives Nats 1-0 lead

The Washington Nationals must win Thursday's game or go home for the winter. In such games, it's often good to set the tone by scoring first.

Kyle Lohse is a tough pitcher who has had one of the best years of his career in 2012, and is a candidate for the National League's Cy Young Award.

Never mind that, said Nats first baseman Adam LaRoche. LaRoche worked Lohse to a 3-2 count, then fouled off three straight offerings from the Cardinals righthander before smashing a 92 mile-per-hour sinker over the center-field wall for a home run, giving Washington the 1-0 lead. It was LaRoche's second home run of the series.

The game headed to the third inning, with Washington's Ross Detwiler having held the Cardinals scoreless through the first two frames.

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