Strasburg Blows Lead, Nats Beat Cubs in Extras
CHICAGO — Denard Span scored the go-ahead run on pinch-hitter Chad Tracy’s grounder in the 13th inning, and the Washington Nationals beat the Chicago Cubs 5-4 on Thursday after Stephen Strasburg blew a three-run lead in the ninth.
Span doubled leading off the 13th against Michael Bowden (1-3). He moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Steve Lombardozzi and came around on Tracy’s roller to the first-base side of the mound.
That made a winner of Craig Stammen (7-5), who worked two innings.
Drew Storen earned his third save in eight chances. Storen deflected Dioner Navarro’s liner toward Lombardozzi to start a game-ending double play after Anthony Rizzo reached on a throwing error by the second baseman with one out.
After a two-hour rain delay at the start, Strasburg was one out away from a complete game with a 4-1 lead before Chicago rallied to tie it.
Junior Lake had an RBI single, and Donnie Murphy hit a two-run homer to make it 4-4. Rafael Soriano gave up a double to Brian Bogusevic before Darwin Barney lined to left, sending the game to extra innings.
Before the late rally, Strasburg and the Nationals were sailing along.
Ryan Zimmerman and Steve Lombardozzi homered, and Strasburg added two hits, including an RBI single, as Washington built a 4-0 lead.
Strasburg was aiming for his second shutout in three starts when Chicago’s Brian Bogusevic homered leading off the eighth. When the Cubs struck again in the ninth, Chicago spoiled the ace’s dominant outing.
Strasburg gave up seven hits, struck out eight and walked two after the shortest start of his career. He was ejected in the second inning at Atlanta last week for throwing two consecutive pitches behind Andrelton Simmons’ back.
Travis Wood allowed four runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings for Chicago.
NOTES: Cubs OF Ryan Sweeney, on the 60-day DL because of a broken left rib, is scheduled to start a rehab assignment in the Rookie Arizona League on Saturday. 3B Luis Valbuena (strained muscle on right side) will head to Arizona to take batting practice from the minor league coaching staff. RHP Scott Baker, recovering from Tommy John surgery, is scheduled to start Friday for Class A Kane County. … Cubs manager Dale Sveum said he doesn’t envision SS Javier Baez being called up in September, although he has been impressed with his play. Baez is hitting a combined .286 with 33 homers and 100 RBIs for Class A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee. … RHP Edwin Jackson (7-13, 4.89 ERA) starts Friday for the Cubs at San Diego, with RHP Edinson Volquez (9-10, 5.72) going for the Padres. Washington visits Kansas City, with LHP Gio Gonzalez (7-6, 3.38) starting for the Nationals and LHP Bruce Chen (5-1, 2.20) pitching for the Royals.
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