Beltran leads Cards past Nationals

Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The Cardinals keep atop the second Wild Card chase with the help of Carlos Beltran's big day at the plate

Carlos Beltran belted a pair of two-run homers as the Cardinals flew past the Nationals on Sunday at Busch Stadium, keeping them ahead of the Dodgers in the chase for the second Wild Card and knocking the Brewers out of contention. St. Louis' victory also kept Washington's magic number to clinch the NL East at one game.

Beltran's first two-run shot came as part of the Cardinals' five-run second inning. Pete Kozma got the scoring started off Nationals starter Ross Detwiler with a two-run double. Jon Jay drove Kozma home on a single to left field and came around to score on Beltran's homer. Detwiler's outing came to a close in the third inning, as the Cardinals put two more runners on. However, Chien-Ming Wang hardly provided relief for Washington, uncorking two consecutive wild pitches to allow a runner to score, then surrendering a sacrifice fly to give St. Louis a 7-0 lead.

The Nationals crawled back into the contest on the strength of home runs by Bryce Harper and Danny Espinosa, as well as an Ian Desmond double, but the four runs they plated would be all Lance Lynn would surrender. Lynn finished his day by allowing four earned runs in 5-1/3 innings.

St. Louis tacked on two runs in the fourth inning via Beltran's second homer, and a run in the eighth courtesy of Beltran's RBI single. He went 3-for-4 on the day, scoring a pair of runs and racking up five RBI.

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