Rizzo homers twice as Chicago falls
Anthony Rizzo homered twice and Miguel Montero added a blast, but the Chicago Cubs fell to the Washington Nationals, 7-5, as the Nats clung to an early lead to prevail, evening the series at one game apiece.
Starter Tsuyoshi Wada struggled mightily for the first time this season, allowing five earned runs on nine hits in just 3 2/3 innings of work – and the offense, despite the long-ball contributions of Montero and Rizzo, couldn’t make up the lost ground.
Washington (30-25) scored three times in the second and twice in the fourth, before adding lone runs in both the seventh and eighth innings. Meanwhile, Chicago (28-25) scored three runs in the sixth, with single-run frames coming in the fourth and the ninth.
Out of the two-hole in Joe Maddon‘s lineup, Rizzo went 2-for-4 with a pair of long-balls and three runs batted in. His first shot came in the fourth, when he took the first pitch he saw from Tanner Roark and took it off the facade of the upper deck in right field for the first Cubs hit of the night.
The second came with Chicago trailing 5-1 in the top of the sixth. With Roark still on the mound and a runner on first, Rizzo launched a full-count fastball into the right-center field seats for his 11th blast of the season.
Danny Espinosa got things rolling for Washington early against the Cubs’ starter, when he hit a three-run home run, giving the Nats an early 3-0 lead. Espinosa ended the night 2-for-4, although one of those hits was definitely a game-changer.
Montero’s blast came in the top of the sixth against Roark, the sixth of the season for the veteran backstop. Chris Coghlan made things interesting in the ninth with an RBI single, but Drew Storen shut the door for his 18th save of the season.