'Small ball' helps Cards beat Nats 4-2 for sweep

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By HOWARD FENDRICH, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Yadier Molina hit a two-run single off Stephen Strasburg during St. Louis' three-run first inning, and the Cardinals beat the Nationals 4-2 Wednesday to complete a sweep and give Washington's All-Star ace the only four-start losing streak of his young career.

Jaime Garcia (2-1) allowed a run on Bryce Harper's sixth-inning groundout, but otherwise added to the offensive struggles of the Nationals, who have lost six consecutive home games and nine of their last 12 overall to fall to 10-11.

Washington produced only four runs in the three-game set, a rematch of the 2012 NL division series won by St. Louis.

Needing to be nearly perfect given Washington's lack of offense, Strasburg (1-4) struggled through a 26-pitch, 12-minute first inning.

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