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Cardinals beat Strasburg, Nationals 4-1

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Matt Adams hit the go-ahead home run for the second straight game, connecting off Stephen Strasburg in St. Louis’ three-run seventh inning, and the Cardinals beat the Washington Nationals 4-1 on Saturday night.

Adams snapped a 1-all tie with his sixth homer leading off the seventh, driving a 3-1 offering from Strasburg (6-5) over the wall in right-center. On Friday, he homered on his first swing since coming off the 15-day disabled list from a left calf strain, lifting St. Louis to a 1-0 victory.

The Cardinals batted around in the seventh with the help of two infield hits, a hit batter and two walks, one of them by Matt Holliday with the bases loaded against Drew Storen. Allen Craig added an infield hit off Storen on a slow tapper halfway down the third-base line.

Jayson Werth had an RBI double in the first for the Nationals, who managed just four hits for a two-day total of six. They will try to avoid a three-game sweep in the series finale Sunday.

St. Louis reliever Randy Choate (1-2) needed one pitch to escape a bases-loaded threat in the seventh after a strong start from Shelby Miller, who gave up four hits in 6 2-3 innings. Pat Neshek worked a perfect eighth and Trevor Rosenthal finished for his 19th save in 22 chances.

Strasburg allowed three runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings. It was his 11th consecutive quality start, but he dropped to 5-3 with a 2.22 ERA in that stretch that began April 20 when he gave up two runs in six innings at home against the Cardinals.

St. Louis pitchers have permitted just one run in the Cardinals’ last five victories, including a pair of 5-0 wins over Toronto and a 1-0 victory against Tampa Bay.

Miller matched his season best with seven strikeouts but walked four, including two for Strasburg, batting .077 with two hits on the year. Strasburg’s second walk loaded the bases, but Denard Span grounded out against Choate.

Span went 0 for 4 and is hitless in his last 18 at-bats over the last five games.

Anthony Rendon singled with one out in the first and scored from first on Werth’s double to right-center. Craig made a sliding stop to cut the ball off and couldn’t recover in time.

It was tied in the third after a two-out rally started by Miller’s fourth hit of the season – and third double. The pitcher scored standing up on Matt Carpenter’s single.

NOTES: Cardinals LHP Jaime Garcia (2-0, 4.26 ERA) opposes Doug Fister (5-1, 2.68 ERA) on Sunday. Garcia is 3-1 against the Nationals and Fister has won his last five starts. … The game time of 2 hours, 3 minutes for the series opener Friday night was the shortest in the major leagues this season. … The Cardinals have won 11 of the last 13 regular-season meetings with Washington and are 17-2 at home the last two years against the NL East. … The Nationals are 30-2 when scoring four or more runs and 5-30 when scoring three or fewer runs.