Nationals see massive lead vanish; Cubs avoid sweepJul 8, 2011 - 5:45 AM Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Darwin Barney hit a two-run double to help the Cubs erase an eight-run deficit, then hit a go-ahead double in the ninth to lift them to a 10-9 victory over the Washington Nationals.
Blake DeWitt slugged a pinch-hit three-run homer, and Carlos Pena added a two- run blast for Chicago, which avoided being swept in this four-game series.
The Cubs had scored 10 total runs over the first three games, but used a 15- hit attack to win Thursday.
For Washington, it was a deflating loss. Each of the Nationals' last 10 wins had come by one run or in extra innings, and it looked like they would be able to record a comfortable victory after building an 8-0 lead in the fourth inning.
But the Cubs erased a sizeable chunk of that deficit by getting to Nationals starter Livan Hernandez for six runs in the sixth.
After loading the bases with two outs, Alfonso Soriano got a run home with a base hit to left. Barney then ripped a double to plate two more, and DeWitt pulled Chicago within 8-6 with a homer that bounced high off the foul pole in right field.
"I was looking for a pitch to put a good swing on," DeWitt said.
Hernandez hadn't given the Cubs many scoring chances prior to that, allowing only one runner to reach second base through the first five innings. But he didn't make it out of the sixth, allowing 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings.
"You can chalk the [loss] up to me," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "I was trying to save some guys in the bullpen. I felt like if [Hernandez] could get me through six I could save a bunch of people."
Then, in the seventh, Nationals reliever Sean Burnett entered the game with a runner on first and one out and immediately gave up the lead. Pena crushed a first-pitch breaking ball to tie the game.
Henry Rodriguez took the mound for Washington in the eighth, but couldn't keep the Cubs from scoring. Starlin Castro hit a two-out double before scoring on Aramis Ramirez's single over second baseman Danny Espinosa's head, giving Chicago a 9-8 edge.
Washington rallied to tie the game in the home half, when Roger Bernadina singled, stole second, and moved to third on a groundout. He crossed the plate when Michael Morse grounded a ball back up the middle, through the legs of pitcher Sean Marshall (5-2).
But Barney came through once more for the Cubs.
Rodriguez (3-2) was back on the mound to start the ninth and gave up a leadoff infield single to Geovany Soto.
He used a pair of fielder's choice grounders to make sure the runner didn't advance, but Tony Campana stole second before scoring on Barney's double to the right field corner.
Cubs closer Carlos Marmol ran into some trouble in the home half after hitting the leadoff batter, Rick Ankiel, who moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and advanced to third on a wild pitch.
But Marmol got pinch-hitting slugger Matt Stairs to foul out. After he walked the next batter, he got Bernadina to fly out to end the game.
The Nationals built their lead with a big third inning, when they scored six runs before the Cubs got even one out.
Espinosa hit a two-run single before Ryan Zimmerman hit the ball back to the mound. Cubs starter Matt Garza tossed the ball away in a hurried throw to first, leaving runners on second and third with nobody out.
Morse and Jayson Werth followed with back-to-back RBI hits, and a fielding error by Pena loaded the bases. Wilson Ramos delivered a two-run double to the right field wall to make it a 6-0 game and chase Garza.
Bernadina hit an RBI single off Jeff Samardzija later in the inning, and Ankiel's run-scoring double in the fourth pushed the Nationals' lead to eight.
Marmol recorded his 18th save...In two-plus innings, Garza allowed eight hits and seven runs -- six earned. It was his shortest start of the season...Washington went 7-for-21 with runners in scoring position, stranding 10.
- CHICAGO: 10
Jul 7 10:40 PM
- Darwin Barney doubled to right scoring Tony Campana. Runner on second with two outs and Reed Johnson due up.
Cubs 10, Nationals 9 Top 9, 2 OutsJul 7 10:24 PM
- Michael Morse singled to center scoring Roger Bernadina. Runner on first with two outs and Jayson Werth due up.
Cubs 9, Nationals 9 Bot 8, 2 OutsJul 7 10:10 PM
- Aramis Ramirez singled off second to right scoring Starlin Castro. Runner on first with two outs and Carlos Pena due up.
Cubs 9, Nationals 8 Top 8, 2 OutsJul 7 9:58 PM
- Carlos Pena one-out, two-run Home Run (19) to right scored Aramis Ramirez. Geovany Soto is due up.
Cubs 8, Nationals 8 Top 7, 1 OutJul 7 9:30 PM
- Pinch-hitter Blake DeWitt two-out, three-run Home Run (2) to right scored Alfonso Soriano and Darwin Barney. Kosuke Fukudome is due up.
Cubs 6, Nationals 8 Top 6, 2 OutsJul 7 9:08 PM
- Darwin Barney doubled to left-center scoring Geovany Soto and Marlon Byrd. On the play, Alfonso Soriano advances to third. Runners on second and third with two outs and James Russell due up.
Cubs 3, Nationals 8 Top 6, 2 OutsJul 7 9:06 PM
- Alfonso Soriano singled to left scoring Aramis Ramirez. On the play, Marlon Byrd advances to second and Geovany Soto advances to third. Bases loaded with two outs and Darwin Barney due up.
Cubs 1, Nationals 8 Top 6, 2 OutsJul 7 9:03 PM
- Wilson Ramos grounded out pitcher to first to end the inning.
Cubs 0, Nationals 8 End 4Jul 7 8:41 PM
- Danny Espinosa flied out to right to end the inning.
Cubs 0, Nationals 7 End 3Jul 7 8:23 PM
- Wilson Ramos doubled to right scoring Michael Morse and Jayson Werth. On the play, Rick Ankiel advances to third. Runners on second and third with none out and Ian Desmond due up.
Cubs 0, Nationals 6 Bot 3, 0 OutsJul 7 8:15 PM
- Jayson Werth's infield single to second scored Ryan Zimmerman. On the play, Michael Morse advances to second. Runners on first and second with none out and Rick Ankiel due up.
Cubs 0, Nationals 4 Bot 3, 0 OutsJul 7 8:09 PM
- Michael Morse singled to center scoring Danny Espinosa. On the play, Ryan Zimmerman advances to third. Runners on first and third with none out and Jayson Werth due up.
Cubs 0, Nationals 3 Bot 3, 0 OutsJul 7 8:06 PM
- Danny Espinosa singled to center scoring Livan Hernandez and Roger Bernadina. Runner on first with none out and Ryan Zimmerman due up.
Cubs 0, Nationals 2 Bot 3, 0 OutsJul 7 8:00 PM
- CHICAGO: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Jul 7 7:08 PM
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