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Harden, homers propel Cubs past Nationals

Aug 25, 2008 - 12:26 AM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Rich Harden was dominant for seven innings and the Chicago Cubs hit three home runs en route to a 6-1 victory over the Washington Nationals on Sunday.

Harden (4-1) allowed one run and two hits with 11 strikeouts. The only run he surrendered came on a solo homer by Austin Kearns in the third inning.

Chicago was still up, 3-1, after Kearns' blast and extended its lead with a three-run seventh.

Mark DeRosa, Geovany Soto and Kosuke Fukudome each homered for the Cubs, who became the first team in the major leagues to win 80 games (80-50).

Harden has been everything the Cubs had hoped for since acquiring him in a July trade with the Oakland Athletics. He matched his career high with 11 strikeouts on Sunday and has reached double-digits in strikeouts in five of his eight starts for the Cubs while posting a 1.47 ERA over that span.

"I feel really good right now. I am really strong right now, and today, it was nice and cool and I was able to use that - and the wind blowing in - to my advantage," Harden said. "The guys made some great plays behind me. The pitcher doesn't get it done without guys backing him up."

"He gives us a chance to win every time he goes out there to pitch. He has been effective for us every outing except one," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "As a manager, it's good to know when you have a pitcher like him, you are going to get a good outing every time out."

DeRosa put the Cubs in front, 1-0, with a solo homer in the second and Soto added a two-run shot later in the frame. Fukudome came on as a pinch hitter in the seventh and delivered a two-run blast to right to extend the lead to 5-1.

For DeRosa, it was his fourth straight game with a home run as he raised his career-high total to 18.

"(Jason) Bergmann threw me a first-pitch slider away for a strike," DeRosa said. "I figured the next pitch would be a fastball, and I guessed right. I am in a really good groove right now. I am hitting the ball hard, and for some reason, the ball is going out of the park."

Bergmann (2-10) yielded four runs and four hits with four walks and six strikeouts for Washington, which has lost 14 of its last 16 games.

"I tried to pound the fastball down and in to most of their righthanded hitters," Bergmann said. "With Soto, I gave him too much of the middle of the plate and he hit it out. The rest of the way, I used my curveball to keep them off-balance."

"He had just one rough inning," Nationals manager Manny Acta said. "The home runs and the walks really hurt him, but overall, he threw the ball very well and gave us a chance to win."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    WASHINGTON 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 1
    CHICAGO CUBS 0 3 0 0 0 0 3 0 x 6 7 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: WAS - JASON BERGMANN, STEVEN SHELL (7TH), CHARLIE MANNING (7TH),
    JOEL HANRAHAN (8TH) AND JESUS FLORES
    CHN - RICH HARDEN, CARLOS MARMOL (8TH), JEFF SAMARDZIJA
    (9TH)

    Aug 24 4:45 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY KOSUKE FUKUDOME (9) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 7TH OFF STEVEN SHELL SCORED MIKE FONTENOT.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1, CHICAGO CUBS 5
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: A SORIANO (.284, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Nationals 1, Cubs 5  Bot 7, 0 OutsAug 24 4:07 PM
  • 10
    roots
    McTool Added 10 roots

    Nationals 1, Cubs 3  Top 5, 0 OutsAug 24 3:25 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY AUSTIN KEARNS (7) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF RICH HARDEN.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1, CHICAGO CUBS 3
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: A HERNANDEZ (.538, 0 HR, 2 RBI)

    Nationals 1, Cubs 3  Top 3, 0 OutsAug 24 2:59 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY GEOVANY SOTO (19) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 2ND OFF JASON BERGMANN SCORED JIM EDMONDS.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 0, CHICAGO CUBS 3
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: M FONTENOT (.285, 8 HR, 31 RBI)

    Nationals 0, Cubs 3  Bot 2, 0 OutsAug 24 2:50 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MARK DEROSA (18) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 2ND OFF JASON BERGMANN.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 0, CHICAGO CUBS 1
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: J EDMONDS (.232, 16 HR, 48 RBI)

    Nationals 0, Cubs 1  Bot 2, 0 OutsAug 24 2:47 PM