Final

Series: Game 1 of 4

St. Louis leads 1-0 (as of 4/27)

Game 1: Thursday, April 27
Washington2Final
St. Louis6
Game 2: Friday, April 28
Washington8Final
St. Louis3
Game 3: Saturday, April 29
Washington1Final
St. Louis2
Game 4: Sunday, April 30
Washington2Final
St. Louis9

Nationals 2

(7-15, 6-8 away)

Cardinals 6

(15-7, 10-3 home)

8:10 PM ET, April 27, 2006

Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri 

123456789 R H E
WAS 000000200 2 6 1
STL 30000021 - 6 8 0

W: S. Ponson (3-0)

L: M. O'Connor (0-1)

O'Connor to make major league debut for Nationals

Washington (7-14) at St. Louis (14-7) 8:10 pm EDT

ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- Michael O'Connor will draw a difficult assignment in his first major league start when he and the Washington Nationals take on the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday in the opener of a four-game series.

Struggling to find healthy and capable starting pitching, the Nationals are turning to the 25-year-old O'Connor, who is just one year removed from playing in Class A.

In two starts at Class AAA New Orleans, O'Connor went 0-0 with a 2.79 ERA. The 6-3 lefthander struck out 13 and walked seven in 9 2/3 innings.

He will hope for more support than Washington was able to provide in Wednesday's 5-0 loss to Cincinnati. The Nationals managed just one single against Bronson Arroyo and two relievers.

Coming off a three-game sweep over Pittsburgh, St. Louis gives the ball to Sidney Ponson (2-0, 3.31 ERA), who has won back-to-back starts. Ponson allowed a run and six hits in five innings of Saturday's 4-1 win over the Chicago Cubs.

After Cardinals closer Jason Isringhausen surrendered a game-tying solo homer with two outs in the top of the ninth inning Wednesday, Albert Pujols singled in the game-winning run in the bottom half to finish St. Louis' 4-3 win.

It was the Cardinals' ninth victory in 11 games and gave them a 5-1 record on their 10-game homestand.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Gameday Matchup

 WashingtonSt. Louis
W-L71-9183-78
Night45-6446-59
Grass71-8883-78
Current StreakL3L1
Last 105-53-7

Pitching Matchup

WashingtonSt. Louis
M. O'Connor
3-8, 4.80 ERA

Last Game:
9/28 at WAS
5.0 IP, 0 ER
Dec = ND
S. Ponson
4-5, 6.25 ERA

Last Game:
8/18 at BOS
3.0 IP, 6 ER
Dec = ND

Gameday Lineups

NO.WashingtonSt. Louis
1. A. Soriano, LF D. Eckstein, SS
2. J. Vidro, 2B H. Luna, 2B
3. N. Johnson, 1B A. Pujols, 1B
4. J. Guillen, RF J. Encarnacion, RF
5. R. Church, CF J. Edmonds, CF
6. R. Zimmerman, 3B S. Spiezio, 3B
7. B. Schneider, C Y. Molina, C
8. R. Clayton, SS S. Taguchi, LF
9. M. O'Connor, P S. Ponson, P