NAT’S HOMER PAST CARDS
Danny Espinosa's solo home run, which followed Bryce Harper's monster tying blast an inning earlier, lifted the Nationals over the Cardinals, 2-1, at Nationals Park in Thursday night's four-game series opener.
Cardinals starter Mike Leake cruised through five scoreless innings before allowing Harper's solo shot in the sixth and Espinosa's decisive blast in the seventh.
Leake submitted his fourth straight impressive outing, giving up just the two runs over seven innings. He allowed seven hits and walked one but pitched around trouble, while strking out five. In his last four starts, the righty has allowed four runs in 28 innings and has lowered his ERA from 6.03 to 3.90.
The Cards will continue their series against the Nationals on Friday with pre-game at 5:10 p.m. and first pitch 6:05 p.m., when they send Jaime Garcia to the mound at Nationals Park. After a strong start to the season, Garcia has struggled in his last two outings, giving up eight runs in 7 1/3 innings. In Sunday's loss to the D-backs, the righty lasted only 2 1/3 innings, allowing five runs.
Elsewhere in the majors:
The White Sox and Royals were postponed by rain in Kansas City. No makeup date was announced, but it will not be rescheduled as part of the weekend series.