Escobar's blast in 10th lifts Nats over Cards

Washington, DC ( - Yunel Escobar smacked a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the 10th inning to lift the Washington Nationals to a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in the opener of a three-game set.

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.

Ryan Zimmerman and Denard Span each had two hits, while starter Gio Gonzalez tossed six scoreless innings despite allowing eight hits and four walks.

Aaron Barrett (2-0) fired a scoreless 10th to earn the win.

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

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

Drew Storen was unable to make Bryce Harper's RBI single in the third inning hold up in the ninth.

Matt Carpenter singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After Jason Heyward struck out, Holliday's base hit through the hole on the left side brought home Carpenter.

Washington loaded the bases with one out in the home half, but Ian Desmond fanned and Jon Jay made a diving catch on Jayson Werth's sinking liner to center.

Game Notes

Washington was 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base, while the Cardinals finished 1-for-11 and stranded 13 ... Cardinals starter Lance Lynn stuck out seven, surrendering a run on five hits and four walks over 6 1/3 frames.