Yadier Molina homered twice on a day he paired with St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright to tie the major league record of 324 starts by a battery in an 11-6 loss to the Washington Nationals on Thursday.
Alex Call had four hits and five RBIs for Washington, including a three-run homer off James Naile in the ninth.
Wainwright and Molina matched the mark set by Detroit’s Mickey Lolich and Bill Freehan from 1963-75.
Molina hit a two-run homer into the third deck in left field in the third and a solo shot just over the wall in the fourth. It was the ninth career multi-homer game for Molina and his first since April 17, 2021, at Philadelphia.
Wainwright allowed four runs and nine hits in five innings. It was the second-straight subpar start for Wainwright, who said his mechanics are off.
The 41-year-old Wainwright and 40-year-old Molina got a standing ovation from the crowd of 40,437 as they made their way in from the bullpen moments before first pitch, and another after the top of the first inning. Wainwright and Molina are on track to break the record at home against Milwaukee on Sept. 14.
The pair have totaled 13 All-Star Game appearances, and the Cardinals have reached the postseason in 11 of the 17 seasons the two have been on the roster.
Cesar Hernandez drove in three runs and Luis Garcia broke a 4-4 tie with sixth-inning infield single off Jordan Hicks, who had relieved Andre Pallante (6-5). The Nationals had 18 hits and earned a four-game split.
Nationals starter Josiah Gray gave up four runs in 3 1/3 innings. Mason Thompson (1-0), Andres Machado, Kyle Finnegan, Jake McGee and Carl Edwards Jr. combined for 5 2/3 innings in relief.
Cardinals: RHP Miles Mikolas (11-10, 3.32 ERA) will open a three-game series tonight at Pittsburgh, while the Pirates counter with RHP Roansy Contreras (4-4, 3.41 ERA). Mikolas allowed just two hits over eight scoreless innings in his last start on Sept. 4.