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Cubs continue road streak, halt Nats' run

Washington,  DC (SportsNetwork.com)  - Justin Ruggiano homered among his three 
hits  and  knocked in two  runs to  back a solid  Jason Hammel, as the Chicago 
Cubs  stayed  hot on  the road by  beating the Washington  Nationals 7-2 in an 
Independence Day matinee from the nation's capital. 

Chris  Coghlan had  two hits and scored  three runs for the Cubs, who have won 
five consecutive road games for the first time since July 31-Aug. 4, 2011. 

Hammel (8-5) allowed two runs on five hits, walked two and struck out seven in 
six-plus  innings.  He  improved  to  8-0 in  10  career  starts  against  the 
Nationals. 

"We're  playing well  right now and we're  just trying to keep it going to the 
All-Star break," Hammel said. 

Jayson Werth finished 2-for-3 with a home run and a walk for Washington, which 
had its season-best winning streak snapped at five games. 

Tanner  Roark (7-6), who had a 1.59 ERA in his eight previous home starts this 
season,  surrendered  four runs on  nine hits over  seven frames to absorb the 
loss. 

The Cubs came  out swinging against Roark, as Coghlan and Ruggiano opened the 
game  with consecutive  singles to right field. Coghlan then scored from third 
on an Anthony Rizzo double-play grounder. 

Werth quickly tied the game in the bottom of the first with a two-out homer to 
left field, but Hammel helped himself with an RBI single in the second. 

With  two  outs and two men  aboard, Hammel hit a  liner off the lower back of 
Roark that ricocheted into left. 

Ruggiano  homered  to right leading  off the  third and Coghlan doubled before 
scoring on a Rizzo groundout in the fifth, extending the lead to 4-1. 

The  Nationals put  two on to start  the home fifth, as Ian Desmond singled in 
front  of  a walk by Wilson  Ramos. Hammel proceeded  to strike out Roark on a 
foul  bunt after  falling behind 3-0, got  Denard Span to hit into a fielder's 
choice and fanned Bryce Harper to escape the jam. 

"He's  been  tough on  us. He's  been tough on  everybody, but especially us," 
Washington  manager Matt  Williams said about Hammel. "He pitched out of a jam 
in the fifth. We weren't able to get to him." 

After  throwing a  1-2-3 sixth,  Hammel gave  up a  leadoff double  to Anthony 
Rendon in the seventh. The extra-base hit into the left-field corner ended the 
Chicago right-hander's outing as Neil Ramirez took over on the mound. 

Ramirez  gave up an Ramos RBI single to right center with one away, but struck 
out pinch-hitter Nate McLouth and retired Span on a popup to short. 

Pedro Strop pitched around a Werth double in the eighth before the Cubs padded 
their  lead with  three ninth-inning  runs.  Ruggiano singled  with the  bases 
loaded and Starlin Castro drove in a pair with a base hit. 

                                   Game Notes 

Hammel  and  Roark entered the contest  sporting the exact same record and ERA 
(2.98)  ... Washington  was 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position ... These 
clubs split a four-game set at Wrigley Field last week. 

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