Washington Nationals: Bullpen Falters Late In Loss To Cubs
Albert Almora‘s double in the ninth inning against Sammy Solis was the difference in the Washington Nationals 4-3 loss to the Cubs.
The Washington Nationals received a good start from Gio Gonzalez, but it wasn’t enough, as the Chicago Cubs scored late in the contest to win 4-3. The Cubs broke a scoreless tie in the third inning as Jason Heyward laced a single to right field which scored John Lackey and Dexter Fowler to give them a 2-0 lead.
The Nats responded in their part of third with a sacrifice fly to score Danny Espinosa to cut the deficit to 2-1. Then, in the next inning, David Ross singled to center to score Ben Zobrist and give the Cubs back a two-run lead.
Gonzalez had a solid start for the Washington Nationals and kept his team in the game. He pitched 6.1 innings and gave up three runs on five hits. He walked four batters and struck out nine batters on 111 pitches (66 strikes) in the no-decision.
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Lackey was just as good for the Cubs. He lasted six innings, allowed two runs on four hits. He struck out seven batters and walked only two on 98 pitches (64 strikes) in a no-decision.
The Nats called upon Oliver Perez to enter the game in the top of the seventh with one out and a runner in scoring position. He kept the Cubs off the board, as he struck out Fowler and forced Heyward to pop out.
The Washington Nationals pushed another run across in the seventh frame as Ben Revere hit a sacrifice fly against Cubs reliever Pedro Strop to plate Espinosa and cut the deficit to 3-2.
In the next inning, Sammy Solis tossed a scoreless frame for the Nats. It took two relievers in Travis Wood and Hector Rondon for the Cubs to get through the eighth. However, the Nats did tie the game at three when Anthony Rendon hit a sacrifice fly to right to drive in Harper.
The Cubs did take the lead back in the top of ninth when Albert Almora laced a double to left field against that scored Addison Russell to give Chicago a 4-3 lead. Rondon finished things off in the ninth with a 1-2-3 inning to pick up the win, despite blowing his first save of the season.
It was a rough way for the Washignton Nationals to lose a game, as they found a way to tie the game, but Solis ended up giving up the go-ahead run in the ninth.
Next: Nats Send Papelbon To 15-Day DL
Next Game: The Chicago Cubs (44-19) will have Jason Hammel (7-2, 2.36 ERA) on the mound in the finale of this series. Stephen Strasburg (10-0, 3.03 ERA) will look to keep his unbeaten streak intact as he gets the start for the Washington Nationals (40-25). You can watch the game tomorrow at 4:05 p.m. ET on MASN.