CHICAGO (AP) — Trea Turner reached base four times and scored twice, Yan Gomes and Howie Kendrick each drove in two runs and the surging Washington Nationals beat the Chicago Cubs 7-2 on Saturday.
Washington has won four straight and six of seven to extend its lead over Chicago for the top NL wild-card spot to three games. The Nationals have scored a total of 97 runs in their last nine games.
A day after losing to the Nationals 9-3, the Cubs dropped consecutive games at Wrigley Field for the first time since June 25-26 against Atlanta. First baseman Anthony Rizzo exited in the fifth inning with tightness in his middle back — he missed time in May with back trouble.
Turner got Washington off to a quick start, going 2 for 3 with two walks and a stolen base to extend his streak of reaching base safely to 31 games, the longest current streak in the majors. Anthony Rendon stretched his hitting streak to 11 games and drove in a run.
Washington starter Joe Ross, who had to leave his last start after being hit in the right shin by a comebacker, allowed two runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings. Five Nationals relievers combined to hold Chicago to one hit over the final 4 2/3 innings. Wander Suero (4-7) got the final two outs of the fifth to get the win.
Jose Quintana (11-8) allowed four earned runs in four innings and had his career-high streak of seven straight wins snapped. The left-hander hadn’t lost since June 22 against the New York Mets.
Nicholas Castellanos had two hits and an RBI for the Cubs.
Turner led off the game with an infield single and Adam Eaton followed with a bunt for a base hit down the third base line. After Eaton beat the throw, Rizzo threw to second base attempting to nab Turner, but second baseman Tony Kemp wasn’t looking and the throw sailed into left, allowing Turner to go to third.
Rendon followed with a sacrifice fly.
Washington stretched it to 5-0 with a four-run third. Turner again led off with a single, Eaton had an infield single and Rendon walked to load the bases. Juan Soto drove in the first run with a grounder, Kendrick followed with an RBI single and Gomes hit a two-run single.
Chicago made it 5-1 on a Castellanos’ RBI single in the third. The Cubs added another run in the fifth, but wasted an opportunity to move even closer.
Castellanos singled with one out and Kris Bryant walked. Lucroy — pinch hitting for Rizzo — doubled to left to chase Ross. Both runners would have scored easily, but the ball hopped over the wall for a ground-rule double.
Bryant and Lucroy were stranded as Javier Báez struck out and Kyle Schwarber popped out against Suero.
The Nationals made it 7-2 in the sixth on an RBI groundout by Eaton and Kendrick doubled home a run in the the ninth.
Like all teams wearing the white version of the Players Weekend uniforms, the Cubs position players were supposed to wear white hats with the pitcher wearing black so as not to obscure the baseball.
But on Friday, they decided to wear blue hats in the field so everyone would have dark-colored hats. The team was contacted by the league office after the game and told that wasn’t allowed.
Nationals: LHP Sean Doolittle (right knee tendinitis) threw off the mound Thursday and Friday. “Today is all strengthening (exercises), and then we’ll go from there,” manager Dave Martinez said. “I can’t put a timetable on (his return), but we’re hoping it’s sooner than later.”
Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg (15-5, 3.65 ERA) starts the finale of the three-game series on Sunday looking to become the first 16-game winner in the majors. LHP Cole Hamels (7-4, 3.73) pitches for the Cubs.