The Cardinals dropped their second straight spring game and have won only once in their last six contests. The game in West Palm Beach, Florida, marked another quiet day for the St. Louis offense, one day after scoring only three runs on three hits.
Flaherty and Scherzer held their opponents hitless through the first three innings. Flaherty allowed one walk during that stretch, while Scherzer worked three perfect innings and struck out five.
Unlike Scherzer, who was lifted after three innings, Flaherty returned for the bottom of the fourth. He allowed Starlin Castro to break the scoreless tie with a two-run home run, driving in Trea Turner on a leadoff single.
Flaherty retired the next three hitters to end the inning and his outing. In total, Flaherty tossed four innings, allowing two earned runs, two hits and one walk. He also finished with four strikeouts.
Castro added to the Nationals’ lead in the sixth inning, scoring Trea Turner on a one-out triple. The veteran infielder drove in all three of Washington’s runs.
The Cardinals responded with a few small, late-inning rallies. Nolan Arenado drove in the Cardinals’ first run on a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning. José Rondón scored on a groundout in the ninth inning after he hit a triple with one out.
Tommy Edman delivered two hits, including a leadoff double in the fourth inning. Seven of the nine Cardinals hitters who started the game were held hitless.
The Cardinals dropped to 2-4-3 this spring. After a day off Thursday, the Cardinals will return to action Friday in Jupiter, Florida, against the Houston Astros on FOX Sports Midwest.