John Lackey cruises, Ben Zobrist bruises as Chicago Cubs win again

May 6, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher John Lackey (41) delivers in the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
May 6, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher John Lackey (41) delivers in the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports /
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It’s been a great week for the Chicago Cubs who swept the Pittsburgh Pirates only to return home to Wrigley Field and extend their winning streak to four. Today, the North Siders continued to drive in runs while right-hander John Lackey reached double-digit strikeouts.

90. 8. 9. Final. 6

Beautiful weather and baseball at Wrigley Field is a great way to start your weekend. For John Lackey and second baseman Ben Zobrist, it was just another day at the office as they extended their winning streak to five games by defeating the Washington Nationals, 8-6.

Veteran right-hander, Lackey (4-1, 4.02 ERA), was taken out to deep left-center field by third baseman Anthony Rendon, falling behind by a run to open things up. It came on a 3-2 pitch and one out in the frame but he would eventually buckle down, holding the Nationals (19-10) to two earned runs on six hits while issuing one walk and recording 11 strikeouts.

He even helped himself out with a base hit in the game as both teams matched each other with nine. With the Nationals ahead by two runs in the home half of the season, infielder Tommy La Stella jumped all over Max Scherzer (3-2, 4.60 ERA) for a two-run homer  following a Zobrist walk, tying things up at two.

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The Chicago Cubs (22-6) eventually grabbed the lead with a solo home run off the bat of first baseman, Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo’s 10th home run of the young campaign would be challenged by Washington’s skipper, Dusty Baker but would stand.

Moments later, Ben Zobrist took the third pitch of his at-bat and sent it out to deep right field to go back-to-back with Rizzo, extending Chicago’s lead to two runs in the third inning. He had himself four RBI in-game one of this series and ended the day 2-for-2 with another four RBI and two walks.

Scherzer was absolutely hammered by the Cubs today as they tagged him for seven earned runs on as many hits while drawing three walks, striking out seven times and taking him deep four times. Zobrist’s second homer of the day and fifth of the year came during the bottom of the fifth inning and was a three-run homer that made it 7-2 in favor of the home team.

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Skipper Joe Maddon removed Lackey from the game after the seventh inning and called upon Clayton Richard to get through the eighth. Washington took advantage of Lackey being removed, tagging both Richard and Justin Grimm for four earned runs on three hits to cut into that massive five-run lead.

Thankfully, Grimm was able to record the final out of the inning, making way for Hector Rondon who slammed the door on the visiting lineup.