Cubs rally to beat Nationals
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Chicago Cubs caught a break this week when NL MVP Kris Bryant avoided serious injury, suffering only a sprained right ankle.
With shortstop Trea Turner, the Washington Nationals were not nearly as lucky.
Oh, and that bullpen is still troublesome, too.
Jon Jay hit a go-ahead two-run double during a three-run ninth-inning rally against Blake Treinen, lifting the Cubs over the Nationals 5-4 on Thursday.
Washington got more bad news after the game: Turner has a broken his right wrist after being hit by a pitch. The team did not have a timetable for his return.
Turner was hit by Pedro Strop’s fastball in the seventh, but remained in the game until Stephen Drew entered as a defensive replacement in the ninth.
“I didn’t know because I had tape on my wrist, so initially it didn’t really feel that bad,” Turner said. “After a little while, it started stiffening up on me, so I figured I’d get out of there.”
With Turner gone, Treinen (0-2) slogged through the bullpen’s 13th blown save this season, tying the NL East leaders with the Phillies and Mets for the National League lead.
Tommy La Stella drove in a run with a two-out single against the right-hander, and Jay followed with a hit to right-center that brought home Javier Baez and La Stella.
“Anytime you get a win like that, especially against a team like that, it’s awesome,” La Stella said. “You never want to say you need a win, because we didn’t, but it was certainly nice to get that one.”
Washington has been looking for an answer at the back of its bullpen all season. Six pitchers have at least one save for Washington, and four of them also have at least two blown saves. Treinen joined that club as his ERA rose to 6.11
“It’s getting exhausting,” Treinen said. “I’m sure they are sick of seeing the same result when I’m out there.”
Wade Davis struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 16th save after Felix Pena (1-0) worked the eighth.
Manager Dusty Baker was ejected for the first time in his two seasons with the Nationals after arguing a third-strike call in the sixth.
Rookie Jeimer Candelario, who started for the injured Kris Bryant at third base, broke a 1-1 tie in the seventh by launching his first career homer off starter Joe Ross.
Washington took a 4-2 lead in the seventh on Anthony Rendon’s two-run homer and Brian Goodwin’s RBI single.
Turner stole two bases, bumping up his total to seven in the series and 35 on the season. He entered the day tied for the NL lead with Cincinnati’s Billy Hamilton.
Candelario was hit by Treinen’s fastball in the left knee to start the ninth-inning rally. Candelario appeared to be in significant pain and was visited by a team trainer, but stayed in the game. He went for X-rays after the win.
Bryant is expected to miss at least a couple of games after spraining his right ankle in an 8-4 loss Wednesday.
Cubs catcher Willson Contreras threw out two attempted base stealers, including Turner at third base in the first.
Both teams scored a run in the first inning before the starting pitchers dominated.
Ross allowed two runs and five hits with seven strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings. After allowing Contreras’s RBI single in the first, Ross didn’t allow a hit until the sixth or a run until Candelario’s shot.
Cubs starter Jon Lester gave up Ryan Zimmerman’s RBI single in the first, but then blanked Washington over the next five innings. He struck out seven and allowed three hits. Over his last four starts, Lester is 2-0 with 2.42 ERA.
The win split the four-game series and kept the defending World Series champions from falling under .500.
“You’re always looking for that moment you don’t know until the next day’s game is played,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “I loved the way we fought to the very end.”