Sports

Cards try to even series in D.C.

(SportsNetwork.com) - A terrific pitching matchup is on tap Wednesday at Nationals Park, as Doug Fister and the Washington Nationals continue their three-game set against John Lackey and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Fister picked up his first win of the season on Thursday against Philadelphia, surrendering two runs (1 earned) and four hits in 6 2/3 innings. He had tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings in a no-decision against Philly his first time out and is pitching to a 0.69 ERA this season.

"I think he got a little tired in the last inning," Washington manager Matt Williams said. "Other than that he was good, in command the whole game."

Lackey, meanwhile, became the first Cardinals pitcher to finish seven innings on Thursday against Milwaukee, as he scattered five hits over seven scoreless innings to get the win.

"I like to compete. I like to get after it," said Lackey, who is 1-0 with a 2.77 ERA. "I consider myself a pretty nice guy four out of five days."

Lackey has only faced the Nationals twice and is 1-0 against them with a 3.21 ERA.

Washington won a thrilling opener on Tuesday, as Yunel Escobar smacked a walk- off solo homer in the bottom of the 10th inning to lift the Nationals to a 2-1 triumph.

The Cardinals sent the game into extras following Matt Holliday's RBI single in the ninth, but Escobar crushed a Carlos Villanueva (1-1) first-pitch fastball into the bullpen in left center to end it.

"In that situation, Escobar took a chance of getting the fastball and got it and hit it to his pull side," said Washington manager Matt Williams. "He got it elevated and pulled it over the fence."

The Nationals have won five of their last six games.

Holliday finished 4-for-4 for the Cardinals, who had a five-game winning streak stopped.

"We had some opportunities in the game," said Holliday. "We just weren't able to cash them in."

St. Louis won five of seven meetings against Washington last season.