With their lead in the National League Central under siege, the Cardinals open a three-game set against the Nationals on Monday at Busch Stadium as August comes to a close. St. Louis is trying to hold off a furious push from the Pirates, and Washington is trying to gain ground on the division-leading Mets in the NL East.
Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez has struggled in August, going 1-3 with a 5.68 ERA, but he is 2-1 with a 0.93 ERA (three earned runs in 29 innings) in four career starts against St. Louis.
Jacob Emert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.