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Adams hits third homer in 3 games, helps Cardinals sweep Nationals with 5-2 victory

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ST. LOUIS - Matt Adams might want to have his father's visit last longer.

Adams homered for the third straight game — all with his father in attendance — and Matt Holliday also went deep, helping the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-2 victory and series sweep Sunday over the Washington Nationals.

Adams gave St. Louis a 2-0 lead in the second inning with a two-run shot on an 0-2 pitch, his sixth homer of the season. Adams' father, Jamie, has been visiting from Pennsylvania on Father's Day weekend.

"Unfortunately, he's going to go home," Adams said.

There were going to meet before Adams' father left for the airport.

"He might give me a big hug and start crying," Adams said. "He's an emotional guy."

Adams has homered in all three games since coming off the disabled list with a torn calf muscle.

Holliday put St. Louis up 3-0 in the third with his fifth home run.

St. Louis manager Mike Matheny never doubted his sluggers would start to hit the long ball after a slow start. The Cardinals are last in the National League in homers.

"We've been saying for months now these guys have done that," Matheny said. "It's not a surprise. It's not like these guys have never hit any home runs in their lives. I think that everybody just thought that we were either brainwashing them not to hit home runs or else they all lost it collectively and both of them are ridiculous."

Last year, Adams had 17 homers in 108 games and Holliday had 22 in 141 games.

"We knew that our power didn't go anywhere," Adams said. "We knew the type of hitters we are. We go out there on daily basis and grind through our at-bats."

Jaime Garcia (3-0) pitched seven innings, allowing five hits and a run for St. Louis. He struck out six and walked two. Trevor Rosenthal got the final out for his 20th save.

Washington's Doug Fister (5-2) had his five-start winning streak snapped. He pitched six innings, allowing seven hits and four runs.

"The two home runs were the biggest things for me," Fister said. "I need to find a better effort."

St. Louis has won 12 of the last 14 regular-season meetings with Washington. The Nationals are 2-18 in the newest version of Busch Stadium.

"We have a bitter taste in our mouths going home," Nationals outfielder Scott Hairston said. "I think we definitely didn't play up to our capabilities."

The Nationals loaded the bases in three innings, stranded 10 runners and scored on two bases loaded walks.

The timely hit didn't come for Washington.

"It's the ebbs and flows of the game," Washington manager Matt Williams said. "It's that time of the year where heavy legs start to set in a little bit."

Garcia pitched out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the second. Third baseman Matt Carpenter caught Sandy Leon's grounder on a short hop and threw out Hairston at home. Garcia then struck out Fister.

Jayson Werth drew a bases loaded walk in the fifth to cut the lead to 3-1.

"I didn't have my best stuff today but at the same time you go out there and you compete," Garcia said. "You battle and you keep your team in the game."

St. Louis got the run back in the fifth, when Kolton Wong snapped an 0-for-16 skid with a leadoff triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Holliday, who has 999 RBIs in his career.

Craig doubled home Holliday in the seventh for a 5-1 lead.

Rosenthal walked pinch-hitter Adam LaRoche in the ninth with the bases loaded to make it 5-2.

NOTES: Reliever Carlos Martinez will make his second career start Monday when the Cardinals host the New York Mets. Martinez is taking the start in place of Adam Wainwright (elbow). ... Before Sunday's game, the Cardinals purchased the contract of left-handed pitcher Nick Greenwood from Triple-A Memphis and optioned outfielder Randal Grichuk back to the affiliate. ... After starting 1,114 MLB games at third base, and 12 in left field, Ryan Zimmerman started Sunday at first base for the Nationals. ... Washington's Danny Espinosa was hit by a pitch in the second inning, the eighth time this season. ... Washington CF Denard Span was scratched from the lineup due to back stiffness and replaced by Nate McLouth. ... St. Louis native boxer Devon Alexander threw out the first pitch. Alexander (25-2 with 14 knockouts) is a former WBC and IBF light welterweight champion and a former IBF welterweight champion. He has a welterweight fight against Robert Guerrero (31-2-1) on June 21. ... Randy Choate's one-pitch win in Saturday's game made him the sixth pitcher in Cardinals history to throw one pitch and record a victory.

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