Chicago Cubs’ lefty José Quintana gave up a run on the first out he recorded in Saturday afternoon’s game against the Washington Nationals. Trea Turner singled to start the first inning of the second of three in Wrigley, Adam Eaton dropped down a bunt and beat the throw to first, and Turner took third a throwing error by Anthony Rizzo, who tried to back pick the runner, but threw it into left, by Cubs’ second baseman Tony Kemp, who wasn’t looking for the throw.
Anthony Rendon followed with a sac fly, and the Nationals were up 1-0 with one out in the opening frame.
When the top of the order came around again in the third, Turner and Eaton both singled, and Rendon walked to load the bases, before an RBI groundout by Juan Soto, and an RBI single by Howie Kendrick put the Nationals up 3-0.
Yan Gomes followed later in the inning with a two-run single that made it 5-0, and the Nats went on to win 7-2 for their second straight in Wrigley Field and their fourth straight win on the road trip.
It all started with the top of the Nationals’ order Davey Martinez told reporters in his post game press conference.
“We’re getting on base,” Martinez said. “We’re doing the little things. I’m asking these guys to bunt a little bit more to move runners, steal bases, they’ve just been playing the game, and then the big hits with guys on base, it’s been huge, it’s been a lot of fun, they’re playing really, really good, so let’s just keep it going.”
Trea Turner finished the day 2 for 3 with two walks and two runs scored, and his first hit of the game extended his career-best on-base streak to 31 straight games.
What has Turner being doing well over the course of his streak?
“He’s taking his walks,” Martinez said. “And the biggest thing is with two strikes he’s actually figuring out a way to put the ball in play, and it’s been good, it’s been working.
“When he gets on base, he creates havoc, and usually when he’s on there, especially early, he tends to score, so he’s doing a great job in that leadoff spot right now.”
Turner and Eaton combined to go 4 for 8 with three runs between them, and as Martinez said, the two are causing all kinds of problems for opposing teams by getting on base to get things started.
“I think by them moving the baseball and doing what they do, yeah it causes — because all of a sudden you’ve got Rendon, you’ve got Soto, you’ve got Howie, and the list goes on, so those two guys getting on base, especially early, and we talk about this all the time, about scoring first, and when we can do that we put a lot of pressure on the other team.”
It’s Turner and Victor Robles atop the lineup this afternoon as the Nationals go for five in a row overall and three straight in Wrigley. Asdrúbal Cabrera is starting at first, and Gerardo Parra is in right with Eaton sitting.