Rizzo homers, Cubs hold off Nationals’ rally for 6-5 win

Anthony Rizzo #44 of the Chicago Cubs hits a home run against the Washington Nationals during the third inning at Nationals Park on May 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — Anthony Rizzo homered, Albert Almora Jr. had three hits and the Chicago Cubs held off the Washington Nationals for a 6-5 victory Sunday night.

Chicago led 6-1 before Washington closed to within a run on a three-run homer by Anthony Rendon in the sixth inning and a solo home run by Howie Kendrick in the seventh.

Kyle Hendricks (4-4) retired the first 11 Washington batters and didn’t allow a hit until Kurt Suzuki’s single leading off the fifth, but finished by giving up four runs and six hits in 5 2/3 ininngs. Hendricks had been masterful in May, allowing just one earned run over his past three starts (25 innings).

Steve Cishek pitched a 2 1/3 scoreless innings for his fourth save as the Cubs took two of three from the Nationals and improved to 10-1-1 in their past 12 series.

Washington starter Jeremy Hellickson (2-3) allowed three runs and four hits with three walks in three innings.

Rizzo’s solo homer in the third gave the Cubs a 3-0 lead, and Chicago went up 4-0 in the fourth on Kyle Schwarber’s sacrifice fly. The Cubs scored two more in the sixth to take a 6-1 lead. They had numerous chances to increase their lead in the early innings, but went 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base.

Before the game, manager Joe Maddon announced that the Cubs dropped their protest over the pitching delivery of Washington reliever Sean Doolittle in Saturday night’s game.

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