JUPITER, Fla. - The Nationals, seeking to end a seven-game spring losing streak, have drawn first blood against the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium. The first five hitters of the fourth inning reached base against St. Louis starter Chris Carpenter and the Nats used four consecutive hits to take a 4-0 lead.
Ian Desmond drew a leadoff walk and scored when Laynce Nix tripled to the wall in left- center. Nix came home on Adam LaRoche's ground-rule double to left and LaRoche advanced to third on a 37-hopper up the middle by Michael Morse. Ivan Rodriguez singled to right to make it 3-0.
Carpenter caught Alberto Gonzalez looking at an inside pitch that didn't look like a strike for the inning's first out before Alex Cora slapped a single to right, scoring Morse for a 4-0 lead. Livan Hernandez, who spent most of Cora's at-bat chatting with scouts seated behind the protective screen behind him plate, failed to get a bunt down on the first pitch from Carpenter and then grounded into an inning-ending 1-6-3 double play, the third by the Nationals in four innings.