Washington, DC – Ian Desmond hit a two-run home run and drove in three as the Washington Nationals took a 7-3 win over the Chicago Cubs to open a three-game set.
Danny Espinosa and Kurt Suzuki each drove in two runs for the Nationals, who have won five straight. Ross Detwiler (2-3) gave up two runs one eight hits with two strikeouts over 6 2/3 frames to snap a three-start losing streak.
"It was bad on my part to give up a run and let them tie the game after the guys put us up," said Detwiler. "But the guys came right back and gave us the lead back. They really supported me back there tonight."
Starlin Castro hit a pair of doubles, scored once and drove in a run for the Cubs, who have lost six of their last eight. Jeff Samardzija (1-5) dropped his fifth straight decision after giving up seven runs -- five earned -- on eight hits in just five innings.
"I felt good out there today and was working the zone pretty good," said Samardzija. "I just had a few pitches get away from me there and they got a hold of them."
The Cubs pushed a run across in the first as Castro led off with a double, moved to third on a Cody Ransom groundout and came home when Anthony Rizzo followed with a groundout.
In the second, Washington went ahead off a two-run double from Suzuki. With one out, Desmond singled and Espinosa reached base as Samardzija misplayed the ball. After Tyler Moore fouled out, Suzuki doubled to center to bring home both runners for a 2-1 lead.
Chicago tied the game in the third when Samardzija led off with a double and Castro followed with his second two-bagger of the game. Later in the inning, Rizzo singled to right and Castro tried to score, but he was nailed at the plate on Roger Bernadina's throw home.
Washington went up for good in the fourth as Adam LaRoche singled to lead off and Desmond followed with his fifth homer of the year, a shot to left, for a 4-2 advantage.
The Nats padded their lead in the fifth. With runners on the corners and two outs, Desmond doubled home a run and Espinosa followed with a two-run double for a 7-2 lead.
David DeJesus hit a run-scoring groundout in the ninth to cap the scoring, as Craig Stammen got Castro to follow with a groundout to end the game.
Washington took six of seven from Chicago last season ... The Cubs went just 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base ... Samardzija fell to 1-2 in 10 games against Washington ... Detwiler improved to 3-1 in four career starts against the Cubs ... Stammen gave up a run and two hits over 2 1/3 innings in relief.