On this Fourth of July, the Chicago Cubs beat the Washington Nationals 7-2, behind the pitching of Jason Hammel and their hot bats.
After crushing the Red Sox for 16 runs and 19 hits Wednesday en route to a three game sweep, the Cubs’ bats turned their attention to the Nats and pounded out 14 hits. They have 23 runs on 33 hits in their last two ballgames.
Hammel continues his mastery of the Nationals. He is now 8-0 with a 3.11 ERA in 10 career starts against them. After giving up a first inning home run to Jayson Werth, he settled down and went six innings, giving up two runs on five hits, striking out seven. His record now stands at 8-5, with a nice 2.98 ERA.
The Cubs started the scoring in the top of the first off of loser Tanner Roark (7-6) when Chris Coghlan led the game off with a single. He want to third on Justin Ruggiano‘s hit, and scored when Anthony Rizzo hit into a double play.
The Cubs continued the scoring with single runs in the second and third. In the second, Hammel put the Cubs ahead himself, getting a two-out single, scoring Nate Shierholtz. In the third, Ruggiano led off the inning with his second homer in two games.
In the fifth, Rizzo got an RBI groundout to extend the Cubs lead to 4-1.
Hammel left the game in the top of the seventh after Anthony Rendon led the inning off with a double. Neil Ramirez came in and struck out Ian Desmond, but then allowed a hit to Wilson Ramos to drive in Rendon. Ramirez retired the next two batters and the Cubs had a 4-2 lead.
The Cubs sealed the win in the ninth, scoring three runs on RBI singles by Ruggiano and Starlin Castro.
Brian Schlitter recorded the final three outs in the ninth that sent the Cubs on their way to some happy Fourth of July barbecues.
The win ended the Nationals five game winning streak. In addition to the four game Cubs winning streak, they have won six out of eight. They have a record of 25-19 after a start of 13-27. Their record now stands at 38-46 for the season.