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Chicago Cubs hand Washington Nationals third straight loss, 8-5 in Wrigley Field

The Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs went back and forth all afternoon, but in the end, the Cubbies won their third straight, 8-5, and Cubs' starter Jason Hammel extended his unbeaten streak to 12 career starts vs the Nats, though he received no decision.

David Banks/Getty Images

Chicago Cubs' right-hander Jason Hammel started the afternoon (9-0) in 11 career starts against the Nationals, with a 3.01 ERA, 14 walks, 65 Ks and a .232/.267/.375 line against in 74 ⅔ career innings pitched against Washington for his various employers.

Hammel took the mound the only active pitcher in the majors with nine wins and no losses against a single opponent.

His personal unbeaten streak against the Nationals continued, though he received no decision in this one.

On a windy day in Wrigley, the Nationals opted to play for one run early with Danny Espinosa bunting Ben Revere over after Revere's leadoff double in the third. Bryce Harper stepped in next and hit a sac fly to right that made it 1-0 Nats.

Cubs' skipper Joe Maddon went the same route in the home-half of the third inning, however, bunting catcher Tim Federowicz over to second with one down in the inning so Dexter Fowler could drive him in with a two-out triple to center that tied things up at 1-1.

Gio Gonzalez made a big mistake in the fourth, leaving an 0-2 fastball up in the zone and out over the plate to Kris Bryant, who hit a solo blast to left to put the Cubbies ahead, 2-1.

Just the second home run allowed by Gonzalez in 35 IP this season. Bryant's 5th on the year.

Nationals' catcher Jose Lobaton walked to start the fifth, and moved up on a bunt by Gio Gonzalez before scoring on a two-out single to right by Danny Espinosa as the Nats small ball'd their way to another run and a tie game, 2-2.

Bryce Harper walked for the second time today and the sixth time in the series in the next at bat and Ryan Zimmerman came through with another two-out single as the Nationals took the lead, 3-2.

Jason Hammel's Line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 Ks, 97 P, 57 S, 7/4 GO/FO.

Spencer Patton took over for the Cubs in the sixth and issued a leadoff walk to Anthony Rendon, who promptly stole second, then scored on an RBI double to right by Stephen Drew. 4-2.

Gio Gonzalez gave up one and two-out singles in the Cubs' sixth, and Addison Russell singled to center with two down to bring Anthony Rizzo in from third and cut the Nationals' lead to one, 4-3.

Gio Gonzalez's Line: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 2 Ks, 1 HR, 100 P, 68 S, 9/3 GO/FO.

Blake Treinen came on in relief and walked pinch hitter Tommy LaStella on four pitches, loading the bases, so Nats' skipper Dusty Baker went to the pen again for Sammy Solis with left-handed pinch hitter Ryan Kalish up and Solis gave up a two-strike, two-run single to left on a soft liner that was just out of Danny Espinosa's reach, 5-4 Cubbies.

Ben Revere tripled to right off Travis Wood to start the seventh, and after Danny Espinosa K'd swinging over a two-strike curve, the Cubs walked Bryce Harper intentionally to get to Ryan Zimmerman with runners on the corners.

Zimmerman grounded into a force at second, but beat the throw to first as Revere scored to tie it up at 5-5 after six and a half.

Solis came back out for the seventh and issued a one-out walk to Kris Bryant before giving up a ground-rule double to left by Anthony Rizzo that put runners on second and third with one down. Solis walked Ben Zobrist intentionally to get to pinch hitting catcher David Ross.

Shawn Kelley came on to face Ross with the bases loaded and got a soft pop to second for out No. 2, but Addison Russell sent a fly to right field that Bryce Harper couldn't come up with as he approached the wall in the corner, 7-5 Cubs.

Pedro Strop struck out the side in the Nationals' eighth. Two walks and a HBP loaded the bases for the Cubs vs Felipe Rivero in the home-half of the inning and an RBI single to right made it 8-5.

Hector Rondon came on in the ninth and retired the Nationals in order. Three straight losses for the Nats. Six straight wins for the Cubs.

Nationals now 19-11


  • Anthony Rizzo hits his 10th home run in the Cubs' 28th game yesterday, becoming the fastest Cub to reach the 10-HR mark since Alfonso Soriano did in 26 games in 2011.
  • Chicago's 22-6 start to the season is the best start in franchise history through 28 games since the 1907 Cubs went 23-5 through 28 games.
  • Washington's 19-10 start is the best in Expos/Nationals franchise history and the second-best record by a D.C.-based team through 29 games, behind on the 1925-1930-1932 Senators, who started 20-9.
  • The Cubs' 22-6 start is the best by any NL team since the 1977 Dodgers.
  • Chicago has now outscored their opponents 172-74 (+98 run differential) which is the best run differential in the majors this season, and the second-best by any major league team since 1900 with the 1902 Pirates (+112) still the best through 28 games.
  • The Cubs' 6.14 runs per game average thus far this season are the majors league's highest.
  • If the Nationals want to earn a split of their four-game set they'll have to win two straight over the Cubs, who haven't yet dropped two straight this season.
  • In today's Cubs-themed "Fun with Arbitrary End Points" segment, Ben Zobrist is 17 for 52 with three doubles, five home runs, 20 RBIs and 12 walks in 15 games since April 18th.
  • In today's Nationals-themed "Fun with Arbitrary End Points" segment, Jayson Werth is 10 for 33 (.303 AVG) with two doubles and three home runs in his last night games, with hits in eight of the nine.
  • Cubs' hitters lead the majors in walks so far this season with 146, which is 25 more than the second team on that list, the Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • Cubs' pitchers, meanwhile, have allowed the fewest walks in the majors so far.
  • Nationals' pitchers have a combined 2.65 ERA so far this season, the second-best ERA in the majors, behind only the Cubs' 2.44 combined ERA as a staff.
  • In a bonus Cubs-themed "Fun with Arbitrary End Points" segment, Chicago was 67-24 before today... over their last 91 games going back to July 29, 2015, which is the best record in the majors over that stretch.

Nationals now 19-11