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Cardinals Rally Past Nationals

Brendan Donovan and Paul Goldschmidt hit back-to-back homers in the fifth, and St. Louis rallied from that early 5-0 deficit to beat Washington 8-6 on Monday.


Jack Flaherty gave up five runs on eight hits before getting even five outs against the Nationals. To his surprise, he was still on the mound in the seventh inning with the lead.


Donovan’s three-run shot to right-center off Josiah Gray (4-6) tied the game 5-all, and Goldschmidt put the Cardinals ahead to stay when he lined a hanging curveball from Gray over the wall in left.


The Cardinals (30-43) won their third straight since falling a season-worst 16 games under .500, but they still have their worst record through 73 games since 1990. St. Louis has only had one losing season since 2000, and manager Oliver Marmol said before the game his last-place team still expects to win the NL Central.


Flaherty (4-5), who came in leading the majors in walks with 43, issued his only free pass in the seventh. His outing ended one batter later when he hit Lane Thomas with a pitch. Flaherty gave up six runs for the second consecutive start but won for the first time since May 15.


The Cardinals may also have found a solution to their season-long problems at the back end of the bullpen. Génesis Cabrera got the final two outs in the seventh, Giovanny Gallegos worked the eighth and Jordan Hicks got three outs for his third save in three days while a big contingent of Cardinals fans stood and cheered behind their dugout.


Hicks, who blew his first two save opportunities this season and didn't get another chance until he converted on Saturday against the New York Mets, struck out Thomas on a 103 mph fastball to end it.


The series continues Tuesday night with Cardinals LHP Jordan Montgomery (3-7, 3.91 ERA) opposing LHP MacKenzie Gore (3-5, 3.74).

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