The Nationals continued their winning ways tonight as the Chicago Cubs came to town for game one of a three game set. The Nationals offense picked up where it left off last September versus the Cubs, clobbering the Cubs to the tune of seven runs, winning 7-3. It was their fifth win in a row and extended their record to 7-1 in May.
The Cubs struck first in the top of the first inning. Starlin Castro led off the inning with a double and an Anthony Rizzo ground out scored Castro.
The Nationals quickly answered in the second inning, when Kurt Suzuki stroked a double to right center to score Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa.
The Cubs answered though in the third after another Castro double scored Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija.
Samardzija was not so lucky on the pitcher’s mound though, as the Nationals rocked him for five runs in the fourth and fifth innings.
Desmond hit his fifth home run of the season in the fourth inning, scoring the on fire Adam LaRoche. LaRoche went 2-4, upping his batting average in May to .440, after his typical slow April.
Desmond picked up another RBI in the fifth inning, doubling in Ryan Zimmerman. Espinosa followed that with a double of his own, scoring LaRoche and Desmond and running the score to 7-2.
Samardzija left after the fifth inning, having given up the seven runs on eight hits, five strikeouts and two walks.
Samardzija’s counterpart for the Nationals, Ross Detwiler, was his usual self for the most part, giving up just the two runs in 6.2 innings. Detwiler allowed eight hits, struck out two and walked none, finishing with an efficient 90 pitches. Detwiler did allow an inordinate amount of doubles, six total, but was able to work around them.
Craig Stammen finished off the game for the Nats. His only hiccup came in the ninth inning when Ryan Sweeney scored on a David DeJesus ground out to make it 7-3. But that was all the Cubs would get.
The Nationals look to extend their streak to six tomorrow, facing off against former teammate Edwin Jackson. Stephen Strasburg will be on the mound for the Nats.