Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams had been on the disabled list since May 28 with a strained left calf. In his first six career games against the Nationals when healthy, he had at least one hit in each contest and batted .391.
Facing one of the Nationals' hottest hurlers, Adams announced his return with authority in his first at-bat. Adams crushed the first pitch he saw from Jordan Zimmermann in the second inning, sending it over the right-center field wall and the Cardinals led 1-0.
The solo shot, Adams' fourth of the season, ended Zimmermann's 19-inning scoreless streak.
Lance Lynn has retired the Nationals in order in each of the first two frames. The Cardinals are up 1-0 after two complete frames in St. Louis.
Update: Lynn might have caught the Nationals at the right time. The Cardinals arrive home to begin a 10-game homestand. The Nationals traveled two-thirds of the way across the country from San Francisco to St. Louis to begin the final leg of an arduous 10-game road swing.
Lynn has retired the Nationals in order, 12 straight hitters, without allowing a base hit in four innings. Only four swings have reached the outfielders.
But the Nationals have taken Lynn deep in the count often. He has thrown 59 pitches, close to 15 pitches per frame through four innings.
Despite the home run by Adams, Zimmermann has allowed only one other hit. The Cardinals still lead 1-0 after four innings. By contrast, Zimmermann has had to throw only 45 pitches so far.
Update II: With one out in the fifth, Jose Lobaton slapped a base hit down the left field line that was mishandled by Matt Holliday. Lobaton ended up at second base. The Nationals were unable to score a run in that inning, but Lynn's no-hitter was gone.
Update III: Lynn went eight innings to get the win, allowing only two hits - one from Lobaton and the other courtesy of Jayson Werth. Lynn allowed no runs and did not walk a batter, striking out eight batters. Lynn tossed 111 pitches, 73 for strikes.
Zimmermann was close to equal, taking the extremely hard-luck loss, going eight innings, surrendering three hits, one run - the Adams solo homer - as well as one walk and striking out five. He tossed only 76 pitches, 57 for strikes.
Closer Trevor Rosenthal came on in the ninth for the save. He struck out pinch-hitters Nate McLouth and Greg Dobbs. Denard Span reached on an error. Anthony Rendon struck out.
The game took only 2 hours, 3 minutes.
And the Cardinals won 1-0.