Cardinals pile on Nationals in Game 2, even series with 12-4 blowout

Monday evening in St. Louis, the Cardinals evened their Division Series by blowing out the Washington Nationals in Game 2, 12-4.

It's not often that your starting pitcher gets yanked after two innings and you still win, but that was part of Mike Matheny's winning formula in Game 2. That starting pitcher was Jaime Garcia, who gave up just one run in the first two innings but also walked three Nationals. So when Garcia's turn came up in the bottom of the second, Matheny yanked his starter in favor of a pinch hitter.

The pinch hitter didn't do anything, but the move worked in another sense, as the relief pitchers who followed Garcia performed more than well enough. Of course, the Cards probably would have been fine with Garcia for a few innings, since they wound up scoring a dozen runs. Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann lasted only three innings, in what was probably his second-worst outing this season. And the Cardinals got to the Nationals' bullpen, too.

The Cardinals' big hitting stars were Jon Jay and Carlos Beltran, who both drove in three runs; Jay also contributed a spectacular catch in center field, while Beltran hit two home runs.

So the series is all evened up as the two teams shift to Washington, D.C., where they'll resume the series Wednesday.

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