ST. LOUIS - With a grand slam after an imaginary swing by Michael Morse and a more traditional two-run double by Kurt Suzuki, the Washington Nationals moved to the brink of a division title.
Suzuki, a Baldwin High School graduate, doubled off the wall in left-center field with two outs in the top of the 10th inning, and Washington reduced its magic number for a National League East crown to one by defeating the St. Louis Cardinals 6-4 on Saturday.
Suzuki is batting .385 with runners in scoring position since coming to Washington in a trade with the Oakland Athletics on Aug. 3. The Nationals, already assured of a spot in the postseason, got a pair of walks and a passed ball to set up the go-ahead hit.
Kurt Suzuki watches his two-run double in the 10th inning that helped the Washington Nationals beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-4 on Saturday.
"These games are tough," said Suzuki, who finished 2-for-5 and is 10-for-23 in his last six games. "These games definitely get you ready. Those guys are scrappy, they're a good team."
With the bases loaded in the first, Morse hit a line drive off Kyle Lohse that cleared the right-field wall into a grassy section, then bounced off a video board and back onto the field.
First-base umpire Chris Guccione didn't see it, however, and play continued. Right fielder Carlos Beltran made a relay to second baseman Skip Schumaker, who ran down Morse as he retreated toward first.
The umpires looked at video replays and confirmed it was a home run, ordered all runners to retrace their steps and put Morse back at the plate - he mimicked his swing minus a bat and then made his trot.
Morse got guidance from his own dugout, and from St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina.
"I look back over the dugout at everybody telling me to swing and I'm like, 'No, I'm not going to swing.' And Yaddy was like, 'Swing,' you know, so I'm like, 'All right.'
"So I swung. It felt like spring training or something. It felt like a drill."
Morse has four career slams, two this season. He is 6-for-11 with 14 RBIs with the bases loaded this year.
"That was weird," Lohse said. "I would probably have started laughing if I saw it, what Morse did afterwards. I wasn't watching."
Drew Storen (3-1) squandered his first save in four chances in the ninth, but got the win. Craig Stammen earned his first save in two chances.
Sam Freeman (0-2) took the loss as St. Louis' magic number for clinching the second NL wild-card berth remained at three.