Top prospect James Wood hits first major league homer as Nationals cruise past Cardinals 14-6

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top prospect James Wood launched his first career major league home run — a three-run shot — and added a two-run double for a career-high five RBIs as the Washington Nationals beat the St. Louis Cardinals 14-6 on Saturday.

Wood’s 383-foot three-run opposite field homer put the Nationals ahead 7-0 in the second inning. He has reached base in all six games as a National, tied with Ian Desmond (2009) for second overall in club history.

“It’s definitely up there for sure, especially in a game you want to get out and get the lead early," Wood said of the home run. "That’s definitely a big moment.”

The five RBIs are tied for second all-time for a Nationals rookie. Danny Espinosa had six RBIs on Sept. 6, 2010.

“It felt good,” Wood said. “I was taking good swings, but a lot on the ground, so it felt good to get the ball in the air.”

In the third, Wood hit a double to the left field wall to score two more. The homer and double are his first extra-base hits at the big-league level.

“He got the big home run for us and then the double when they started making a comeback," Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. "He’s been playing really well since he’s been here. I love his at-bats. He’s very patient. He’s trying to get the ball in the zone which we talked to him about since spring training. So, he’s doing well.”

Keibert Ruiz went 3-for-5 with two doubles and a three-run homer off Cardinals starter Lance Lynn (4-4).

The Nationals scored a season-high 14 runs on 15 hits with three homers and four doubles.

Lynn allowed a career worst eleven runs — 10 earned — over 2 2/3 innings on 82 pitches, with nine hits, four walks and two strikeouts, his shortest outing of the season. He allowed three homers in a start just one other time this season (April 4 vs. Miami).

“The first inning, two home runs on first pitches, they did a good job of kind of getting me out of what I do," Lynn said. "They put good swings on balls and then I wasn’t executing pitches either. So when you have all that in one day, it’s a bad day. There’s no other way to say it. I didn’t pitch well today.”

CJ Abrams drilled a solo homer over the right-center field wall, his 14th of the season on the first pitch of the bottom of the first. Ruiz followed with a first pitch three-run shot to the same area, the ball traveling 403 feet.

Luis Garcia Jr. added three hits, including a double, a run and two RBIs. Lane Thomas also scored a run and had two hits, a stolen base and two RBIs.

Nationals left-hander MacKenzie Gore could not take advantage of the early lead, struggling with control, walking five, allowing six hits and five runs over 3 1/3 innings on 90 pitches. Jacob Barnes (5-2) tossed two scoreless innings for the win in relief. The Nationals have won three of their last four after a 1-7 slide.

“I was behind in the count so when you get out in a long inning in this heat, make it a little tougher on yourself than it needs to be,” Gore said. “This one is frustrating just for that reason. It was kind of on me, the one that was doing it. But we won the game.”

Nolan Gorman had three hits, including two doubles, but struck out in the third with the bases loaded against Gore. Brendan Donovan extended his on-base streak to 19 games.

It was the Cardinals second loss in six games.


Nationals recalled third baseman Trey Lipscomb and designated for assignment veteran third baseman Nick Senzel. It is the fourth time Lipscomb has been called up but this time he will get an extended look. Lipscomb went 1-for-5 with a run scored.

“We felt like it’s time for Trey to come up and play the majority of the time at third base,” Martinez said. “We want to give him a shot. He went down there and checked all the boxes, started swinging the bat really well.”


Cardinals send right-hander Kyle Gibson (6-3, 3.88 ERA) to the mound against Nationals left-hander DJ Herz (1-2, 4.67) on Sunday.