Nats Power Past Cubs 11-6
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CHICAGO — Jayson Werth and Scott Hairston hit three-run homers to lead the Washington Nationals to an 11-6 win over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday.
Werth’s three-run homer in the third inning off Jake Arrieta gave the Nationals a 6-1 lead and was his eighth since the All-Star break.
Hairston, who was traded by the Cubs on July 8, was pinch-hitting for Tanner Roark and hit his off James Russell (1-4) with two outs in the seventh to give the Nationals a 9-6 lead after they had given up a 6-1 lead.
Anthony Rizzo, hitting second for the first time in his career as part of an altered Cubs lineup, hit his first two homers since Aug. 6 and had three RBIs, but couldn’t stop the Cubs from losing their 15th in their past 18 at home.
Ross Ohlendorf was activated off the disabled list before Wednesday’s game by Washington and allowed four runs and six hits and 4 1-3 innings.
Ohlendorf had been on the DL since Aug. 1 with right shoulder inflammation and was making only his third start of the season.
Roark (3-0) allowed two runs in the fifth, but pitched 1 2-3 innings for the win.
At 24, Rizzo became the second-youngest Cubs left-handed hitter to hit 20 home runs. Billy Williams has the mark, set in 1961.
Arrieta had been solid in two starts for the Cubs since coming from Baltimore on July 2 as part of the trade for Scott Feldman, allowing one earned run in 13 innings, but struggled Wednesday.
He went four innings and gave up six runs, including three in both the second and third innings.
Ohlendorf faced a Cubs team that hadn’t been scoring much at home. The Cubs shook up their lineup by moving Rizzo and Starlin Castro to different spots in the order.
The Cubs, who had scored only 25 runs in their past 10 home games, moved Castro to the leadoff spot after dropping him to eighth Tuesday, and gave Rizzo his first career start batting second.
Castro went 1 for 5 in his fourth game of the year hitting first. Rizzo was 3 for 4 and was tagged between third and home on a Brian Bogusevic base hit to end the game.
Rizzo’s first homer gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead in the first.
Washington took a 3-1 lead in the second inning, scoring on Kurt Suzuki’s two-run single and on Ohlendorf squeeze bunt.
The Nationals broke the game open on Werth’s drive, which came after Ryan Zimmerman singled and Bryce Harper walked. Werth hit a 3-0 pitch into the seats in left for his 18th homer of the season and a 6-1 lead.
The Cubs rallied in the fifth for five runs and seven hits, including six straight, to tie the game and chase Ohlendorf.
Rizzo hit a towering drive into the right-field bleachers for his second homer of the night, cutting the Washington lead to 6-3.
Castro reached on a fielder’s choice before Rizzo’s homer, which gave him his fourth multi-homer game of his career and the second of August, after hitting two against the Dodgers on Aug. 1.
Ohlendorf then allowed Junior Lake to single and was replaced by Roark, who gave up run-scoring singles to Donnie Murphy and Cole Gillespie, before Welington Castillo’s sacrifice fly to center tied the game.
With two outs in the seventh, Hairston lined a 1-2 pitch into the seats for his three-run homer and ninth of the season. Russell had gotten the first two outs of the inning before Harper doubled and Werth was intentionally walked.
Washington added two runs in the eighth on an RBI triple by Denard Span and a single from Zimmerman, to give the Nationals their most runs since scoring 14 against the Mets on July 28.
NOTES: Washington manager Davey Johnson said “there have been discussions” about giving INF Danny Espinosa a September call-up. Espinosa was sent to Triple-A Syracuse on a rehab assignment June 12 and optioned there on June 19 and is hitting .202 in 64 games. He hit .158 in 44 games for Washington. … Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Murphy has been “one big bright spot in the last couple weeks since he’s been here.” Murphy went 2 for 5 and has a career-high seven home runs. … To make room for Ohlendorf, the Nationals optioned LHP Ian Krol to Triple-A Syracuse. … Thursday’s pitching matchup is Washington’s Stephen Strasburg (6-9, 2.93 ERA) against Chicago’s Travis Wood (7-10, 3.13).
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