Nationals' Sanchez stymies Cardinals in Game 1

ST. LOUIS -- Anibal Sanchez held the St. Louis Cardinals hitless for the first 7 2/3 innings as the Washington Nationals earned a 2-0 win Friday in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series.

First baseman Ryan Zimmerman extended Sanchez's no-hit bid in the eighth inning by diving to catch Tommy Edman's leadoff line drive.

Paul DeJong then flied out, but pinch hitter Jose Martinez ended the no-hit effort -- and Sanchez's night -- with a clean single to center.

Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle got the final four outs, retiring all four batters he faced, to preserve the victory and earn the save.

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is scheduled for Saturday, again at Busch Stadium.

Yan Gomes gave Sanchez a lead with an RBI double in the second inning, and Howie Kendrick added a run-scoring single in the seventh.

The Nationals needed a strong outing from Sanchez with their bullpen depleted and their other starters off limits for relief work -- and they got it.

Sanchez (1-0) yielded one hit and one walk while striking out five in 7 2/3 innings. He has allowed just one run on five hits in 12 2/3 innings in his two playoff starts.

Twice the Cardinals got a runner in scoring position against Sanchez, and twice he escaped without damage.

Kolten Wong drew a one-out walk in the fourth inning, stole second base with two outs and took third on catcher Yan Gomes' throwing error. Sanchez then got Marcell Ozuna to pop out.

Cardinals pinch hitter Randy Arozarena was hit by a pitch with one out in the sixth inning, and he stole second. He went to third on a groundout, but Sanchez got Wong to fly out to end the threat.

Miles Mikolas (0-1) held the Nationals to one run in six innings on seven hits. He struck out seven and walked two, one intentionally.

Kendrick, Zimmerman and Gomes each finished with two of the Nationals' 10 hits.

The Nationals played without closer Daniel Hudson, who is on paternity leave. Reliever Wander Suero is filling in on the roster until Hudson returns -- which the Nationals hope will be in time for Game 2.

--Field Level Media