WASHINGTON — Adam Wainwright threw a two-hitter Thursday night for his seventh career shutout, chipped in at the plate with a double and single, and St. Louis benefited from four errors by Washington in the Cardinals' 8-0 victory.
Wainwright (3-1) allowed Ian Desmond's infield single in the second inning and Adam LaRoche's single to right in the ninth. He struck out eight and walked three. During one dominant stretch, the runner-up for the 2013 NL Cy Young award retired 18 consecutive batters.
This was the right-hander's 17th complete game and his fourth two-hitter.
Desmond, Washington's shortstop, made a pair of errors, raising his season total to seven. The Nationals have 20 through 16 games, an average of 1.25.
Wainwright threw 110 pitches and finished the game by striking out Desmond.
Taylor Jordan (0-1) gave up seven runs, five earned, in five 1-3 innings.
Matt Adams drove in three runs, Matt Holliday two, and the Cardinals finished with 14 hits. Everyone got in on the act: All nine members of the starting lineup had at least one hit.
St. Louis has won eight in a row against Washington, dating to Game 5 of the 2012 NL division series.
So far this season, the Nationals have beaten weaker opponents, going a combined 8-1 against the Mets and Marlins, and struggled against better teams, going 1-6 against the Braves and Cardinals.
"If you don't play well against these guys, you're probably going to get beat," Nationals manager Matt Williams said before Thursday's game. "We understand that we have to play the game right and play it well to have a chance to win."
It was as if his players set out to prove him right.
The game's first batter, Matt Carpenter, sent a seemingly routine grounder to Desmond, who failed to field the ball cleanly. Then Kolten Wong's swinging bunt was grabbed by Jordan, but the pitcher could not manage to get the ball out of his glove. That, at least, was ruled a hit.
Up came Holliday, who bounced a double past diving third baseman Anthony Rendon to drive in a run. An RBI groundout scored another, and Yadier Molina's single through a drawn-in infield made it 3-0.
There was more sloppiness in the fourth, when Desmond's throwing error was compounded by an error on second baseman Danny Espinosa, who dropped the ball making the transfer on a potential double play, resulting in an RBI for Wainwright that gave St. Louis a 4-0 lead.
The Cardinals kept tacking on runs, including one off rookie reliever Blake Treinen. Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth dropped a flyball in the eighth, but St. Louis didn't score that inning.