Adam Wainwright put on another sharp performance to top Max Scherzer, right fielder Dexter Fowler made a sensational catch and the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals beat the Washington Nationals 5-1 on Wednesday.
Wainwright (13-9) has won all four of his starts this month, allowing just one earned run in 27 innings. The 38-year-old righty limited the Nationals to an unearned run in seven innings.
Tommy Edman and Matt Wieters homered for St. Louis, which began the day with a two-game division lead over Chicago and Milwaukee. The Cardinals play the Cubs seven times in their final 10 games, beginning with a four-game series at Wrigley Field that starts Thursday night.
Scherzer gave up five runs in 6 2/3 innings. He left after Edman hit an RBI single for a 3-1 lead and Wieters followed with a pinch-hit homer.
Scherzer struck out 11, but fell to 1-2 in five starts since coming off the injured list with a strained back.
Carlos Martinez got four outs for his 21st save in 24 chances. The Cardinals used three relievers in the eighth.
Jack Flaherty (10-8, 3.05) opposes Cubs RHP Kyle Hendricks (11-9, 3.26) to open a four-game series at Wrigley Field on Thursday night.