CHICAGO (AP) — Aramis Ramirez walked with the bases loaded in the 10th inning to give the Chicago Cubs a 4-3 victory over the Washington Nationals on Monday night, their fourth straight win.
Ryan Theriot, coming off a five-hit game against Milwaukee on Sunday, started the winning rally with a leadoff single to right against Brian Bruney (1-1). Derrek Lee walked with one out before Marlon Byrd blooped a single over second baseman Christian Guzman for his third hit. That loaded the bases for Ramirez, who walked on four pitches and became the third player — and second Cub — to walk with the bases loaded in the game.
Carlos Marmol (1-0) pitched around a two-out double by Adam Dunn in the top of the 10th and recorded his first win since June 14 against Minnesota.
Ace-turned-reliever Carlos Zambrano pitched 1 2-3 scoreless innings in his second appearance out of the bullpen and first at Wrigley Field since his removal from the rotation last week. He came on to loud cheers with one out in the eighth after Dunn lined a single to right off Sean Marshall. Josh Willingham singled past a diving Ramirez at third to put runners on first and second before Adam Kennedy popped out and Wil Nieves struck out with the crowd on its feet.
Zambrano took off his cap and pointed toward the sky as he often does on his way to the dugout.
Lee and Ramirez each flied out to the warning track in the bottom half off Tyler Walker, as did pinch-hitter Ryan Zimmerman against Zambrano in the ninth.
Bruney came on in the bottom half for Washington and walked Alfonso Soriano on four pitches leading off before Koyie Hill forced him with a bunt in front of the mound. But Chicago broke through in the 10th for a dramatic finish to what started out looking like an easy night.
Coming off a weekend sweep at Milwaukee, the Cubs appeared to be in good shape early.
They took a 2-0 lead in the second off John Lannan on consecutive doubles by Byrd and Ramirez and a bases-loaded walk to Carlos Silva and got another run in the third on Jeff Baker's triple and Byrd's infield single.
The way Silva was pitching, that looked like it might be enough. He retired the first nine batters, before the Nationals scored two in the fourth on a bases-loaded walk to Willingham and Kennedy's sacrifice fly. Washington tied it on in the sixth on Nieves' run-scoring single.
Silva allowed three runs and seven hits — both season highs — in seven innings for the Cubs.
Lannan allowed three runs, five hits and a season-high five walks in six innings.
NOTES: Nationals C Ivan Rodriguez was scratched from the lineup because of lower back tightness. ... Zimmerman was out of the lineup for the fifth straight game with right hamstring soreness, although manager Jim Riggleman said he is getting better. "In this cold weather, we're just going to be real conservative," he said. ... Zambrano said he'll do whatever the Cubs ask, although he still sees himself as a starter and believes he'll soon be back in the rotation after the team acquires a setup man for Marmol. ... This was the Cubs' first night game at home. This was also the 13th in a string of 19 straight game days for the Cubs, who are not off until May 3.