CHICAGO – Joey Meneses hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning, Keibert Ruiz went deep twice and the Washington Nationals rallied after taking a three-run lead, beating the Chicago Cubs 6-5 on Tuesday night to snap a six-game losing streak.
The Nationals were riding with a 4-1 lead, courtesy of Ruiz’s solo drive in second and three-pointers in fourth against Marcus Stroman. It was the 24-year-old Venezuelan’s first career multi-home run game.
Chicago scored four goals in the seventh to go up 5-4, capped by RBI singles by newcomer Franmil Reyes and Nico Hoerner against Kyle Finnegan. But the Nationals have regrouped.
Meneses won over Mark Leiter Jr. (2-5) in the eighth, after Maikel Franco had a one-out single and Yadiel Hernandez struck out. He threw a drive to the basket from left field, putting Washington back in the lead, 6-5.
The Cubs had two with two outs in the bottom half when Carl Edwards Jr. entered the game and retired Willson Contreras. He then worked the ninth for his first save.
Edwards gave up a single to Seiya Suzuki, who was caught stealing. Edwards then walked on Nelson Velázquez before Nico Hoerner struck in watching a 3-2 pitch.
Paolo Espino went five innings for Washington, allowing one run and six hits. Finnegan (3-2) picked up the win.
Suzuki homered in the top of the second against Washington starter Paolo Espino. He had three hits and scored two runs.
Rafael Ortega and Willson Contreras had RBI singles in the seventh. Ortega was also sent off in the inning by center fielder Lane Thomas trying to score on Ian Happ’s drive line.
Stroman worked five innings, allowing four runs and five hits. The right-hander threw 90 pitches, retired six and walked two after a string of good starts. Stroman has posted a 1.67 ERA in his previous five outings after missing a month with inflammation in his right shoulder.
The Nationals asked veteran reliever Jake McGee to waive Milwaukee and designated outfielder Donovan Casey for an assignment.
McGee signed with the Brewers on July 23, after being released by San Francisco and posting a 6.35 ERA in six appearances. The southpaw was 32-27 with 79 saves and a 3.67 ERA in 13 seasons with Tampa Bay, Colorado, the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco and Milwaukee.
Cubs: The Cubs still don’t know if RHP Kyle Hendricks (straight right shoulder) will pitch again this season. Although an MRI showed improvement, manager David Ross said there was still inflammation. Hendricks did not pitch and will be reassessed in about a week. “I think my main goal is to get him back on the hump, throw relievers and see how he feels,” Ross said. “I don’t think getting him back in games is a top priority for everyone. But if he’s able to reach that space, I think it’s a win for everyone.
The three-game series ends with Cubs LHP Justin Steele (4-7, 3.67 ERA) against Nationals RHP Josiah Gray (7-8, 4.92). Steele tied a career high with 10 strikeouts in just 4 2/3 innings in Chicago’s 2-1 win over Miami last week. Gray is 0-3 with 8.53 in his last four starts.
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