WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Nationals have their first pennant in franchise history, and Washington has its first pennant in 86 years.
The Nationals completed a four-game sweep of the Cardinals in the National League Championship Series by erupting for seven runs off Dakota Hudson and Adam Wainwright in the first inning of a 7-4 victory in Washington. Patrick Corbin and three relievers combined on a five-hitter against the punchless Redbirds, who managed just 16 hits the entire series.
Anthony Rendon (rehn-DOHN’) put Washington ahead with his seventh RBI of the postseason, a sacrifice fly that scored leadoff hitter Trea Turner. Juan Soto hit an RBI double and Victor Robles followed with a RBI single before Yan Gomes (yahn gohmz) poked a two-run single that chased Hudson.
Wainwright later served up a two-run single by Turner to put the Nationals ahead by seven.
The Redbirds began to chip away at their deficit when Yadier (YAH’-dee-ehr) Molina homered in the fourth inning off Corbin. St. Louis later scored three times in the fifth, capped by a two-run double by Jose Martinez.
Corbin left the game after striking out 12 and allowing four hits over five innings.
The Nationals had never won a pennant, even when the franchise was the Montreal Expos from 1969-2004. Washington’s last pennant winner was the 1933 Senators, who dropped a five-game series with the New York Giants.
Washington will host Games 3 through 5 of the World Series.