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Washington Nationals return home after "disappointing" 5-5 road trip...

Had they earned even a split of their four-game set with the Chicago Cubs, the Washington Nationals could have finished their ten-game road trip 7-3, but instead they got swept in Wrigley and ended up finishing 5-5. Now they're back in D.C., where they've lost three straight.

Rob Carr/Getty Images

Normally, a 5-5 road trip through St. Louis, Kansas City and Chicago (NL) would be cause for celebration. When you go 5-1 against the Cardinals and Royals, however, then drop four straight to the Cubs, a .500 road trip is bittersweet.

With the five wins on the road, the Nationals improved to 11-8 outside of the nation's capital early this season, but the four losses in Wrigley Field, combined with the New York Mets' back-to-back wins in San Diego to knock Washington out of the top spot in the National League East.

"What I take away from this series is that we'll see them at our house," Baker said, "and that I'd love to come back here in the playoffs." -Dusty Baker on sweep by the Cubs in Wrigley Field

The loss in the series finale with the Cubs was particularly frustrating, Nationals' skipper Dusty Baker said, after the Nats battled for thirteen innings and wasted plenty of opportunities, going 1 for 19 with runners in scoring position in what ended up being a 4-3 loss.

"It's doubly tough," Dusty Baker said of the extra innings loss. "Especially to play that long, have that many chances and you're sitting on the edge of your seat -- and had opportunities big time and to lose a game like that, it hurts, but we don't have any choice really, you've got to lick your wounds and then limp back home and gain some strength when we get back home before we take back out on the road again."

Washington plays seven games in the next seven days, starting with three against the Detroit Tigers and then four against the Miami Marlins including a doubleheader on Saturday.

At home in D.C., the Nationals are 8-4 on the year, though they were 8-1 before dropping three straight games to the Philadelphia Phillies to end the last homestand.

That was the longest losing streak of the season before the long weekend in Chicago. So what did Dusty Baker take away from the four sweep at the hands of the Cubs?

"What I take away from this series is that we'll see them at our house," Baker said, referring to the June 13-15th series with the Cubs in Nationals Park, "and that I'd love to come back here in the playoffs.

"They got everything they needed in this series and it's hard to keep just getting whatever you want, whatever you need. And so, our guys got a lot of pride out there.

"We're still right there, I mean, big time. Like I said, we've got to lick our wounds and kind of limp back in."