Nationals sweep Cubs in day-night doubleheader
CHICAGO – Adam LaRoche and Wilson Ramos homered, Blake Treinen earned his first major league win and the Washington Nationals beat the Cubs, 7-2, on a rainy Saturday night to sweep a day-night doubleheader.
Gio Gonzalez pitched two-hit ball over seven innings in the opener for a 3-0 Nationals victory.
In the night game, Washington tagged Jeff Samardzija (2-7) for six runs over five innings to salvage a four-game series split.
LaRoche led off the second with a long drive to right for his 11th homer, and Ramos connected to start the fifth, sparking a four-run rally that made it 6-2.
Making his fifth major league start, Treinen (1-3) allowed two runs and four hits in five innings. The right-hander was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse as the 26th man on the roster for the doubleheader.
The only mark against him was a two-run homer by Luis Valbuena that tied it at 2 in the fourth, right about when the rain started falling.
With two outs in the inning and Nate Schierholtz batting, play was stopped for 55 minutes.
Once the game resumed, it didn't take long for the Nationals to regain the lead.
Ramos connected on the first pitch of the fifth for his second homer, and Washington sent up nine batters in the inning.
With two outs and a man on first, three straight singles by Anthony Rendon, Kevin Frandsen and Jayson Werth resulted in two more runs. First baseman Anthony Rizzo then let LaRoche's hard smash get by him for an error, bringing in Frandsen to make it 6-2.
Washington's Ross Detwiler pitched three perfect innings for his first career save.
In the first game, Gonzalez dominated in his third start back from the disabled list, outperforming Dallas Beeler in the righty's major league debut.
Rendon had three hits, including a two-out double against Beeler in the sixth before scoring the game's first run on a wild pitch. Rendon added an RBI triple off Justin Grimm and came home on a sacrifice fly by LaRoche against Wesley Wright in a two-run eighth.
Denard Span chipped in with two hits and scored a run, and the Nationals snapped a three-game losing streak.
Gonzalez (5-4) struck out seven and walked two while improving to 2-0 in three starts after missing a month because of inflammation in his pitching shoulder.
Tyler Clippard worked the eighth and Rafael Soriano finished for his 19th save in 21 chances.
"Obviously, coming (off) the DL and trying to work your way back is going to be a process," Gonzalez said. "It's not going to happen overnight. It's good to see, little by little, using fastball and changeup at the same time. It's good to know when you need them they'll be there."
Beeler was about as good as Gonzalez. Called up from Triple-A Iowa as the 26th man, he pitched four-hit ball while allowing an unearned run in six innings.
Beeler also singled in his first at-bat when he lined the first pitch he saw up the middle in the third, drawing big cheers from the crowd.
"I was a lot calmer than what I thought I'd be," he said. "I walked out there, took a deep breath, threw my warmup pitches, kind of looked around again, exhaled and I was like, 'All right, same game I've been playing for the last 20 years.' "
NOTES: The Nationals remain optimistic that OF Bryce Harper will return from a torn ligament in his left thumb early in the week, if not Monday. ... Along with Treinen, Washington recalled reliever Xavier Cedeno from Triple-A Syracuse while optioning RHP Taylor Hill to the minor league club. ... The Cubs have their first scheduled Sunday off in 82 years because of the annual Pride Parade in Chicago. The last one was on June 19, 1932. The Cubs played the Giants in New York on a Saturday and then visited Philadelphia on a Monday.