Cubs fall a Run short against the Nationals

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Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto hits a solo home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs in Chicago, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

CHICAGO (AP) — Juan Soto homered off Wrigley Field’s right-field scoreboard, helping Max Scherzer win his third straight decision in the Washington Nationals’ 4-3 win over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night.

Soto became the 16th player to hit the scoreboard that was installed in 2012, hitting a 421-foot drive on a 3-2 slider in the fifth from Jake Arrieta (4-4) that gave Washington a 4-1 lead. Soto also singled twice.

Scherzer (4-2) allowed two runs and five hits in five innings with eight strikeouts and four walks. The three-time Cy Young Award winner labored at times against the Cubs but has given up just four runs over his last four starts.

Kyle Finnegan, Daniel Hudson and Brad Hand combined on three-hit relief. Hand struck out three in the ninth for his fifth save in seven chances despite allowing Javier Báez’s solo homer.

Ian Happ’s RBI single had pulled the Cubs to 4-2 in the fifth.

Arrieta allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings in his second start since coming off the injured list caused by a cut in his right thumb. Washington stopped the Cubs’ three-game winning streak and dropped Chicago to 21-21.

Ian Happ and Nico Hoerner had RBIs for the Cubs, who slipped to .500 (21-21). Jake Arrieta (4-4) yielded four runs on seven hits in five innings in his second start since coming off the injured list.

Nico Hoerner’s bloop single in the second drove in the first run.

Trea Turner hit an RBI single in the third and scored on a wild pitch, and Victor Robles’ run-scoring single gave Washington a 3-1 lead in the fourth. Robles would have reached second, but tripped over first base and stayed down for a few minutes while training staff checked an ankle.

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