The Chicago Cubs (12-9) and Washington Nationals (9-11) continued their trend of extra-inning battles on Saturday. For a second straight game, a dramatic home run gave Chicago the win at Nationals Park, via MLB The Show 20.
The world champions struck first against Kyle Hendricks in the 2nd inning, when a walk and a single put two men on base for Victor Robles. The young outfielder jumped on a two-seam fastball for a three-run homer that shortened Hendricks’ appearance. The Professor worked very hard, but got an early hook in the 4th inning.
A 3rd inning Kris Bryant single scored Ian Happ to cut the lead to 3-1, but Joe Ross held the Cubs there through seven. Willie Harris took over in the 8th and the road team started a rally. Jason Heyward singled, stole second, and scored on a Happ single. Happ then attempted to swipe second and was gunned down by Kurt Suzuki. That hurt them a bit when pinch-hitter Victor Caratini came up big, launching a hanging slider for game-tying solo jack to right.
The Nats bounced right back in the bottom of the inning against Rowan Wick. Howie Kendrick singled and pinch-runner Trey Turner scored when Cubs-killer Asdrubal Cabrera split the right-center gap with a double. Willson Contreras was Chicago’s last hope against closer Roenis Elias in the 9th and did not disappoint, blasting a fastball deep to left for a homer that knotted the score at 4-4.
Wick kept Washington off the board in the bottom of the 9th, setting the stage for his teammates to take the lead in the 10th. Happ came up big again with a solo shot to center field to give his team a 5-4 edge, then David Bote followed with a double against new reliever Sean Doolittle. Bote came home when Bryant pounded a two-run moonshot to left, then Craig Kimbrel held the Nats off the board in the bottom of the frame to earn the save.
Bryant – 2-for-4, BB, HR, 3 RBI
Contreras – 1-for-4, HR, RBI
Happ – 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI
Cabrera – 2-for-4, 2B, RBI
Robles – 2-for-4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI
Ross – 7 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 2 ER, 7 K
Winning Pitcher – Wick (2-1)
Losing Pitcher – Elias (0-1)
Save – Kimbrel (7)
Home Runs – Bryant (7), Contreras (5), Happ (2), Caratini (2), Robles (6)