Haren holds down Cubs
Chicago, IL – Dan Haren threw six innings of one-run baseball and the Washington Nationals defeated the Chicago Cubs, 4-2, in the second contest of a four-game series.
Haren (8-11), who gave up just five hits and struck out six, has not registered a loss since July 22 against the Pirates. He's won four straight decisions.
"I didn't have my best stuff. I really didn't, especially at the beginning," said Haren. "I think he (Davey Johnson) noticed that a little bit and he saw what was working for me. My cutter was real good ... didn't throw quite as many splits tonight and my fastball got better as the game went on."
Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond, Tyler Moore and Denard Span had an RBI apiece for the Nationals, who came into the game having lost four of their previous five contests.
Brian Bogusevic and Donnie Murphy each hit a home run for the Cubs, who saw starter Chris Rusin (2-3) surrender two runs on 10 hits and a pair of walks over 5 2/3 innings.
"It is what it is right now," said Cubs manager Dale Sveum. "We score on home runs. We're struggling everywhere else right now."
Zimmerman got the Nationals on the board early with an RBI double to left in the first.
In the fourth. Bogusevic tied the game with his first home run of the season. With two outs in the inning, he clubbed a 2-1 pitch to right-center.
The Cubs had a chance to take the lead an inning later. With two outs, Junior Lake reached first on a fielding error by Zimmerman and advanced to third on Darwin Barney's single to right-center. However, Anthony Rizzo struck out.
The Nationals took the lead for good in the sixth, Zimmerman hit a leadoff double up the middle, followed by a base hit to right by Jayson Werth. After Wilson Ramos lined out, Moore grounded into a fielder's choice. Werth was forced out at second, but Zimmerman scored.
Washington extended its lead in the ninth. With James Russell pitching for Chicago, Bryce Harper hit a leadoff double. Russell was immediately replaced by Kevin Gregg, who gave up an RBI single to Desmond.
Desmond was caught stealing second, but Zimmerman and Werth both walked. After Ramos struck out, Span singled to center.
Murphy belted a leadoff homer off Rafael Soriano in the home half of the ninth. Murphy retired the next three batters to notch his 32nd save.
Since the All-Star break, Lake's 40 hits lead all MLB rookies ... Pedro Strop pitched a scoreless seventh for the Cubs. Acquired from the Orioles on July 2, Strop has held the opponent scoreless in 19 of his 20 relief appearances for Chicago ... The Nationals hit 4-for-14 and left 12 runners on base while the Cubs finished 0-for-8 with RISP and left six men on base ... Washington's Ross Ohlendorf is scheduled to face Chicago's Jake Arrieta on Wednesday.