The Chicago Cubs got a strong effort from Jon Lester and then rallied with two outs in the 9th to split the series with the Nationals in a 5-4 win.
The Chicago Cubs went toe to toe with the Washington Nationals in the series finale, with Jon Lester leading the way on the mound. They took an early lead, only to see the Nats tie it up in the bottom half of the first. Jeimer Candelario hit his first career home run to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead. The bullpen couldn’t hold it as the Nats rallied with a three-run seventh, but the Nats bullpen isn’t much better.
The Cubs (40-39) needed a “stopper” start from their ace Lester (5-4, 3.69), and they got that. But the bullpen couldn’t hold the slim lead. The Nationals (47-32) rallied with a big seventh to take a 4-2 lead over the Cubs. But the Cubs had saved the best for last.
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Joe Ross (4-3, 5.12) kept the game close, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out seven. The Nats, whose bullpen has been much maligned, couldn’t keep the Cubs off the scoreboard in the ninth.
The Cubs got two hits from Rizzo, who dropped down to the third spot in the lineup while Jon Jay took over the leadoff spot. Carl Edwards–who has been so good for the Cubs–finally cracked and gave up a two-run home run to Anthony Rendon to give the Nats a 3-2 lead. The Nats tacked on another run to make it a 4-2 lead in seventh.
The Cubs put in work with two out in the ninth as they pulled off an improbable comeback. After Candelario had been hit by a pitch, that was the spark that helped start the rally. Victor Caratini grounded into a force play as Candelario was out at second. Tommy La Stella followed with a RBI single to cut the lead to one. Jon Jay would complete the comeback as he doubled in Javier Baez and La Stella to give the Cubs the 5-4 lead. Wade Davis would close it out for his 16th save.
The Cubs will travel to Cincinnati to take on the Reds in the start of a three-game series tomorrow. Mike Montgomery (1-4, 2.50) will face the former Cub Scott Feldman (6-5, 4.07) in a 6:10 p.m. CT start.