It was about 25 degrees cooler than yesterday and the wind was blowing straight in at Wrigley Field, but the Cubs and the Nationals still combines to score 13 runs in the Cubs 8-5 victory. It was the 6th win in a row for the Cubs and there 3rd straight over the nationals. The Cubs will go for the sweep of the 4 game series tomorrow afternoon. Lefty Gio Gonzalez got the start for the Nationals and through 5 innings he was able to keep the Cubs in check and the Nationals had a 4-3 lead. Jason Hammel struggled through 5 innings for the Cubs. It took Hammel 97 pitches to get trough those 5 innings and he walked more batters (4) then he struck out (3). Spencer Patton was the first Cubs reliever out of the bullpen, but he couldn’t get anyone out. It was Patton’s first appearance since being called up from Triple-A Iowa. Patton gave up 1 run while walking a batter and not recording an out before Clayton Richard came in to finish off the top of the 6th inning. With the way Gonzalez was pitching it looked like the 2-run lead might be enough for him. After a line out a single and a sacrifice bunt there where 2 outs and a man on 2nd for the Cubs. Jorge Soler singled to right, but 3rd base coach Gary Jones choose not to test the arm of Bryce Harper and the Cubs had runners on 1st and 3rd. Addison Russell singled to make the score 4-3 and end Gonzalez’s day. Blake Treinen walked the only hitter he faced; pinch hitter Tommy LaStella to load the bases. Lefty Sammy Solis was brought in to face left handed pinch hitter Ryan Kalish. Kalish managed a chip shot into short left field that Nationals shortstop Danny Espinosa just missed. How ever you want to describe Kalish’s hit it drove in 2 runs and gave the Cubs a short lived 5-4 lead. Travis Wood started the Top of the 7th on the mound for the Cubs, but after giving up a lead off triple t Ben Revere he was removed for Adam Warren. After a strikeout for the 1st out of the inning Harper was intentionally walked and it looked like when Ryan Zimmerman hit a ground ball that Warren would get the Cubs out of the inning. Zimmerman beat the double play throw to first base as Revere scored and the game was tied at 5. In the Bottom of the 7th with 1 out Anthoy Rizzo hit a ground rule double. After and intentional walk to Ben Zobrist Solis was replaced by Shawn Kelley. It was Russell again who came through big for the Cubs. He hit a fly ball down the right field line that looked like it might go foul. Harper moved over to the foul line to try and catch the ball and it went off his glove barely in fair territory for a double. Two runs scored on the play and the Cubs had a 7-5. “Russell’s hit could be described as a Wrigley Field double as it looked as through Harper pulled up a little to not hit the wall. In any other ballpark he would’ve had the room t make the catch and end the inning. Now the game was in the hands of bullpen combo Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon. Strop pitched the 8th and struck out all 3 Nationals hitters he faced. A Zobrist RBI single in the bottom of the 8th gave Rondon a 3 run cushion for the 9th inning. A Daniel Murphy fly out to left. a strikeout of Revere looking and an Espinosa ground out 3rd to 1st ended the Nationals 9th inning and gave the Cubs their 6th win in a row.
Warren (3 -0) got the win for the Cubs. Strop picked up a hold (7th) and Rondon recorded his 6th save of the season. Solis (0-1) took the loss for the Nationals. Tomorrow it’s Jake Arrieta against Tanner Roark in the series finale.