Zobrist's performance came on the heels of Thursday's 2-for-4,
four-RBI night and helped make a winner of Cubs starter John Lackey,
who struck out 11 and improved to 4-1.
The victory was the fifth straight for the Cubs, who own a
major-league-leading 22-6 record. The Nationals (19-10) dropped
their second straight.
Zobrist also walked twice and scored three runs as his batting
average climbed to .277 for the season from .250 earlier this week.
Tommy La Stella was 2-for-4 with a homer, triple and two RBIs for
Lackey pitched through seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits
and walking one as he picked up his first victory since April 18.
Cubs closer Hector Rondon worked one-two-three ninth for his fifth
Nationals starter Max Scherzer (3-2) worked five innings, matching
his shortest start of the year. He gave up seven runs on seven hits,
walked three and struck out seven.
Anthony Rendon gave Washington a quick lead with a one-out solo home
run to left in the first inning. Rendon launched Lackey's 3-2 pitch
and deposited it in the left-field bleachers for his second homer of
Scherzer helped his cause with a two-out single to right in the
second to score Daniel Murphy from third for a 2-0 Nationals lead.
Murphy went 4-for-4 with a double and two runs scored.
The Cubs matched the runs in the bottom of the inning as La Stella
clubbed his second home run of the season. He sent Scherzer's first
pitch deep into the right-field bleachers with Zobrist on base to
tie the game.
Anthony Rizzo's 10th home run of the season gave the Cubs a 3-2 lead
with two outs in the third but not until a review that lasted 2
minutes, 25 seconds confirmed that the ball cleared to the left of
the right-field foul pole.
Three pitches later Zobrist made it 4-2 with his fourth homer of the
year. There was nothing controversial about his right-field shot,
which fell several dozen feet to the left of Rizzo's landing spot.
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Lackey collected his 2,000th career strikeout in the fourth when
Jayson Werth went down looking on a full count for the first out of
Zobrist homered again in the fifth, sending a two-out first pitch
from Scherzer to right for a three-run home run that gave the Cubs a
Scherzer was relieved by right-hander Blake Treinen, who gave up an
RBI single to Dexter Fowler to score David Ross in the sixth inning
for an 8-2 Cubs lead.
The Nationals cut the margin to 8-6 with a four-run eighth. Werth's
two-run double in the eight scored Bryce Harper and Murphy to trim
the Chicago lead, and Wilson Ramos' third homer of the season
brought in Werth with two outs off reliever Justin Grimm.
NOTES: Thursday's games in Chicago featuring the Nationals and Cubs
at Wrigley Field and Red Sox vs. White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field
marked the first time in baseball history that four first-place
teams played in the same city on the same day. ... The Nationals
reinstated OF Ben Revere from the 15-day disabled list on Friday and
slotted him to lead off. He missed 27 games after suffering a right
oblique strain on Opening Day. To make room, Washington optioned OF
Matt den Dekker to Triple-A Syracuse. ... The Cubs announced makeup
dates for two April rainouts. An April 27 postponement with the
Milwaukee Brewers will be played at 12:20 p.m. CT on Aug. 16 as part
of a split doubleheader. An April 30 makeup with the Braves will be
made up on July 7 at 7:05 p.m. ... The four-game series continues
Saturday at 1:20 p.m. as Nationals LHP Gio Gonzalez (2-1, 1.15 ERA)
meets Cubs RHP Jason Hammel (4-0, 1.24 ERA).
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