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Cardinals down Nats 4-1 in rain-shortened game

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[July 24, 2009]  WASHINGTON (AP) -- Adam Wainwright pitched six strong innings, Rick Ankiel broke a five-week homer drought and the St. Louis Cardinals snapped a three-game losing skid with a rain-shortened 4-1 victory over the Washington Nationals on Thursday night.

Wainwright (11-6) allowed one run and eight hits in the 19th consecutive start he has gone at least six innings. He walked one and struck out seven in his first complete game of the season and third of his career.

DonutsThe game, a makeup of a May 3 contest postponed by rain, was called with one out in the top of the seventh after a 1-hour, 30-minute delay left the field unplayable. There was a 76-minute stoppage in the fourth inning. It was the 16th Washington game interrupted by rain this season, and delays in those total 30 hours, 31 minutes.

Adam Dunn had three hits for the Nationals, who had won two straight.

The Cardinals exploited an error by Dunn in left field to score an unearned run in the first. Skip Schumaker led off with a double, moved to third when Dunn dropped Colby Rasmus' flyout on the transfer and scored on Mark DeRosa's groundout to the pitcher.

Ankiel led off the second with his sixth homer, and first since June 19.

Collin Balester (0-1) started for the Nationals in place of the injured Jordan Zimmermann, but was removed after thunderstorms forced the first delay. The right-hander allowed three runs -- two earned -- and three hits, walked one and struck out two in his 2009 debut.

Tyler Clippard relieved and gave up a one-out single to Yadier Molina and a run-scoring double to Joe Thurston for a 3-0 St. Louis lead. Brendan Ryan was intentionally walked to load the bases, Wainwright fouled out and Schumaker drew a walk to force in a run.

Dunn doubled to lead off the sixth and scored on a two-out double by Alberto Gonzalez.

NOTES: Before the game, the Cardinals added SS Julio Lugo, acquired in a Wednesday trade with Boston, to the 25-man roster and optioned RHP P.J. Walters to Triple-A Memphis. ... Nationals LHP Scott Olsen underwent successful surgery Wednesday to repair a small tear in the labrum in his left shoulder. He will begin a throwing program in 6 to 8 weeks, said acting general manager Mike Rizzo. ... Cardinals 1B Albert Pujols got the night off, just the second time this season he hasn't started. Both have been at Washington.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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