Wainwright pitches Cardinals past Nationals for 3-2 win

Adam Wainwright pitched neatly into the seventh inning, helping himself by kicking the ball over to first for a key out, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Washington Nationals 3-2 on Tuesday night.

Harrison Bader drove in two runs and Kolten Wong had two hits as NL Central-leading St. Louis earned its fourth straight victory. It was the Cardinals’ 18th win in April, matching a team record set in 2008.

Wainwright (3-2) allowed two runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked two.

The Nationals had a chance to score first in the second inning, loading the bases with two out. Pitcher Anibal Sanchez then hit a comebacker that Wainwright inadvertently kicked over to Paul Goldschmidt for the easy out.

The 37-year-old Wainwright grinned as he walked off the mound.