Bryce Harper hit his third home run in two games, Jason Werth homered for the first time since May, and Edwin Jackson struck out 10 Thursday night as the Washington Nationals padded their NL East lead with an 8-1 win over the punchless St. Louis Cardinals.

The Nationals opened an 11-game homestand with an overwhelming performance against a wild-card contender that failed to score an earned run for the third straight game.

Jackson (8-9) was so dominant that three of his strikeouts required throws to first because the Cardinals were chasing balls in the dirt.

The victory moved the Nationals 5½ games ahead of idle Atlanta.

Jaime Garcia (3-6) allowed six runs for the Cardinals, whose streak of 28 scoreless innings ended in the eighth.