ST. LOUIS (AP) — After shutting out the Yankees for his first career complete game, Lance Lynn had a couple of duds.
With no margin for error, Lynn rediscovered his command while leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 1-0 victory over the Washington Nationals on Friday night.
"When you have stuff like that, that's why you keep coming back," Lynn said after throwing eight innings of two-hit ball. "It's like golf. When you hit that drive like 310, that's why you come back the next time."
Matt Adams homered off a changeup down the middle by Jordan Zimmermann (5-3) in the second inning. It was Adams' first swing since coming off the disabled list before the game.
"I was trying to make sure my timing was where it needed to be, see the ball and get the barrel on it," Adams said. "Everything felt good."
Lynn (7-4) struck out eight with no walks against the NL East leaders, who had won 10 of 13. Trevor Rosenthal added three more strikeouts in the ninth, working around rookie second baseman Kolten Wong's two-out error on Denard Span's routine grounder for his 18th save in 21 chances.
The Cardinals have won three 1-0 games, all on homers, with the others by Yadier Molina at Cincinnati on March 31 and Matt Holliday on June 10 at Tampa Bay.
Zimmermann gave up three hits, two of them by Adams, in eight innings. He threw 76 pitches for the lowest total in a complete game by a Nationals pitcher since the franchise relocated to Washington in 2005.
"I had a good fastball again, down in the zone, and the curveballs and sliders were there when I wanted them," Zimmermann said. "Really, it was one mistake on a changeup that was down the middle. He made me pay."
Zimmermann is 0-5 against the Cardinals and 0-2 against the Pirates, the only two NL teams he hasn't beaten.
The Cardinals have won 10 of the last 12 regular-season meetings, and beat the Nationals in the 2012 NL division series. They are 20-5 overall at home against Washington.
"They were one pitch better than we were," Nationals manager Matt Williams said. "So we'll come get them tomorrow."
Lynn retired his first 16 batters. He got some help from his defense when shortstop Jhonny Peralta went into the hole to snare Jayson Werth's one-hop liner in the fourth and threw to first to end the inning.