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
"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
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.
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.