WASHINGTON, DC - July 08: St. Louis Cardinals designated hitter...

WASHINGTON, DC - July 08: St. Louis Cardinals designated hitter Alec Burleson (41) hits a home run during the St. Louis Cardinals versus the Washington Nationals on July 8, 2024 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire) Credit: AP/Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire

WASHINGTON — Paul Goldschmidt and Alec Burleson homered, Miles Mikolas pitched into the seventh inning and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Washington Nationals 6-0 on Monday.

Burleson drove in three runs for the Cardinals, who took three of four games in the series and have won six of eight overall. St. Louis is 33-18 since Mother’s Day, second-best in the majors behind Cleveland (32-16).

“You go all the way back to last year, it’s about time we start playing like we are supposed to," Mikolas said. “The fans got upset with us last year because we weren’t playing good ball. The boos I know started a little bit early this year and we’ve managed to turn it around. We’ve got young guys that are stepping up, having great at-bats, playing great defense. All of our veterans are coming around.”

Goldschmidt’s 12th homer of the season came off left-hander Mitchell Parker in the fourth. The 36-year-old slugger has 352 career home runs, tying Ryan Braun and Ellis Burks for 96th place in big league history. He needs 11 hits to reach 2,000.

“He had a really good work day today," Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. "Got here early and did some things with (hitting coach Turner Ward), felt good about it. It was good for him to get that homer. He just missed one earlier. Him being able to continue feeling good about his swing and play with confidence is going to be important. That homer was a big one.”

Burleson had a two-run single and his 14th homer. He hit .300 (9 for 30) with two home runs on the road trip.

Mikolas (7-7) scattered six hits over 6 1/3 innings for his first win at Washington since July 29, 2022. The right-hander has won four of his last five decisions since June 5. He has gone six or more innings in 12 of 19 starts this season.

St. Louis Cardinals' Paul Goldschmidt, left, celebrates his home run...

St. Louis Cardinals' Paul Goldschmidt, left, celebrates his home run with Nolan Arenado (28) during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Monday, July 8, 2024, in Washington. Credit: AP/Nick Wass

A change in arm angle has helped the movement on his sinker.

“Very important,” Marmol said before the game. “It’s allowed for more action on the sinker, kind of later bite to it, what’s led to softer contact. So it’s been good.”

Mikolas also thought his fastball “had a little bit of zip on it" Monday.

“I thought I was locating it pretty well. It sank when I needed it to and didn’t when I told it not to. Nice,” he said.

St. Louis Cardinals' Lars Nootbaar hits a single during the...

St. Louis Cardinals' Lars Nootbaar hits a single during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Monday, July 8, 2024, in Washington. Credit: AP/Nick Wass

Brendan Donovan went 2 for 4 with an RBI double, extending his on-base streak to 21 games — tied with Phillies star Bryce Harper for the longest active streak in the majors. Donovan is batting .375 (21 for 56) in 15 career games against Washington.

Parker (5-5) gave up two runs — one earned — and six hits over seven innings. He walked one, struck out six and threw 63 of his 91 pitches for strikes.

The Nationals completed a 3-5 homestand and have lost 10 of 14 overall.

Burleson's solo homer made it 3-0 in the eighth, and Goldschmidt scored on Donovan's double. Burleson added a two-run single in the ninth.

“Not the same one or two guys can do it every game so I think depth is a strength of this team, especially when we are healthy," Goldschmidt said. "You always have a lot of chances if we get guys on base, and hopefully someone will come through.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: Activated outfielder Lars Nootbaar (oblique) from the 10-day injured list and optioned infielder José Fermin to Triple-A Memphis. Nootbaar played seven rehab games at Double-A Springfield, batting .261. He returned to the lineup for the first time since May 29, going 1 for 4.

“Feels good,” Nootbaar said. “You never really know obviously until you step up here, but in terms of adjusting to the timing and everything, playing baseball down there, started to feel good.”

Nationals: Called up right-hander Joan Adon and optioned left-hander DJ Herz to Triple-A Rochester. Adon, who has been converted from a starter to a long reliever, struck out five and allowed three hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings over five appearances at Triple-A. He gave up two runs and three hits in one inning for Washington on Monday.

UP NEXT

The Cardinals head home to begin a six-game homestand beginning with two against the cross-state rival Royals, sending right-hander Andre Pallante (4-3, 4.00 ERA) to the mound against Kansas City right-hander Michael Wacha (5-6, 3.74).

The Nationals start a six-game road swing Tuesday night at the New York Mets. Washington RHP Jake Irvin (7-6, 2.80 ERA) faces LHP Jose Quintana (3-5, 4.22). Irvin tossed eight shutout innings of one-hit ball last Thursday against the Mets.

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This story has been corrected to fix Adon's pitching line in the Trainer's Room section.

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