Jayson Werth led off the Washington fourth by reaching when Kozma went deep into the hole and made a leaping throw across his body that Craig bobbled at first base. Werth was credited with a hit. He came around to score and make it 2-1 on Ian Desmond’s double over the head of center fielder Jon Jay.
Anthony Rendon, called up from Double-A Harrisburg over the weekend to fill in while third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is on the disabled list, followed with his first major league hit and RBI — doubling to right-center on a 3-2 fastball. That brought around Desmond, making it 2-all.
Rendon, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2011 draft, made his debut for the Nationals on Sunday at the New York Mets, going 0 for 4 with two strikeouts and an error. He joked before Monday’s game: “I don’t think you can get any worse; I don’t think you can go negative in the batting average.”
His parents had tried to travel from Houston to New York for his first game, but a problem with the airline scuttled those plans. Rendon said they made it to Washington on Sunday night and were going to be at Nationals Park, along with his girlfriend, his brother and a buddy.
In the sixth, things went wrong for Haren — and well for the Cardinals — in the span of three pitches. And Kozma, once more, figured in it, with a bit of a flashback to October.
Haren plunked the inning’s first batter, Matt Holliday, and then served up first-pitch singles to Carlos Beltran and Molina, putting St. Louis ahead 3-2. Haren then walked David Freese, loading the bases with no outs, and was done.
In came righty reliever Craig Stammen, who got Jay to ground into a 3-2-3 double play. After intentionally walking Kozma ahead of the pitcher’s spot — something some fans surely wished the Nationals had done six months earlier — Stammen struck out Miller to end the inning.