Nationals shut out 8-0 by Cards, down 2-1 in NLDS

WASHINGTON -- Bryce Harper tried batting with gloves and without gloves. He wore red-tinted contact lenses, both in the field and at the plate, to help ward off the dreaded "Sun Monster."

He went 0-for-5.

At least his misery had company. His Washington Nationals went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on base. Jayson Werth, Adam LaRoche and Michael Morse were among those who also failed to deliver.

The nation's capital waited 79 years to host a postseason game. It's still waiting for one in which its team actually scores. The Nationals were shut out 8-0 Wednesday by the St. Louis Cardinals, falling behind 2-1 in the best-of-five NL division series after a pair of big-time shellackings by the defending champions.

The season ends if Washington doesn't win today, when Ross Detwiler faces Kyle Lohse in Game 4.

Washington starter Edwin Jackson didn't stand a chance in the head-to-head matchup against Chris Carpenter, who was his usual winning postseason self despite missing almost the entire regular season due to a nerve problem that required surgery. Taking the mound for only the fourth time this year, Carpenter allowed seven hits and walked two across his 5 innings to improve to 10-2 over his career in the postseason. He kept letting men on base, but he never let them get to home plate.Giants 8, Reds 3CINCINNATI -- Facing elimination again, the San Francisco Giants came out swinging. Got a saving relief appearance from Tim Lincecum, too.

Angel Pagan led off the game with a home run, Gregor Blanco and Pablo Sandoval connected later and the Giants beat the Cincinnati Reds 8-3 on Wednesday, evening their NL division series at 2-all.

Lincecum, the two-time Cy Young winner relegated to the bullpen, also delivered. He entered in the fourth with the Giants ahead 3-2, struck out six while giving up just one run in 4 innings, and allowed his team to pull away.

"I knew he would play a huge role in this," manager Bruce Bochy said. "And I know of other situations where starters have been in the `pen and really done a great job to help their team win. We knew Timmy would play a critical role in the series like he did tonight."

The Giants can complete an unprecedented comeback on Thursday. No team has recovered from a 2-0 deficit in a best-of-five series by winning three on the road, according to STATS LLC.