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Stephen Strasburg took his turn silencing the Cardinals' struggling bats, Nationals postseason star Howie Kendrick doubled three times and drove in three more runs, and Washington took a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven NLCS by beating St. Louis 8-1 Monday night.

 

The Cardinals, quite simply, can't score in this NLCS: They have a grand total of two runs and 11 hits through three games. Washington's three starters have a combined ERA - no calculator necessary for this one - of 0.00.

 

The Nationals, who found themselves at 19-31 in late May, have won 15 of their past 17 games, stretching back to the last week of the regular season.

 

The Nationals roughed up Jack Flaherty for four runs, all in the third inning; he hadn't allowed that many in a game since July 2, a span of 18 appearances.

 

Seven of Washington's eight runs came with two outs, and there were contributions from up and down the lineup: Victor Robles homered in his return from a hamstring injury, and Rendon heard ''MVP!'' chants after a slick defensive play and an RBI double.

 

Now it's Patrick Corbin's chance to see if he can match his rotation-mates. The $140 million lefty will start for the Nationals in Game 4 on Tuesday night, when they can close out a sweep at home.

 

Rookie right-hander Dakota Hudson will be on the mound for the Cardinals.

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