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Nelson Cruz's eighth-inning homer lifts Nationals over Cubs 5-4

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Nelson Cruz hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the eighth inning to lift the Washington Nationals to a 5-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Monday night.

Cruz, who hit a two-run double in the fifth, smacked a 1-1 pitch from Brandon Hughes (1-1) to center to snap a 4-all tie with one out in the eighth.

Carl Edwards Jr. (4-3) pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Kyle Finnegan worked the ninth for his fifth save.

Ian Happ hit two solo homers for the Cubs, giving him three in his past three games.

Washington recalled shortstop prospect CJ Abrams from Triple-A Rochester on Monday and he went 0 for 4 with a throwing error in his Nationals debut. Abrams, 21, was one of five prospects obtained from the San Diego Padres in the Juan Soto-Josh Bell trade on Aug. 2.

Starter Josiah Gray allowed three runs on five hits for Washington. He walked two and struck out 10.

Lane Thomas and Yadiel Hernandez had two hits apiece for the Nationals, who had lost nine of 11.

Cubs starter Marcus Stroman allowed four unearned runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Trailing 3-0, the Nationals rallied during a four-run fifth inning started when Lane Thomas reached on Zach Ministry's throwing error. Cruz's two-run double down the left-field line made it 4-3.

Chicago tied it at 4 in the seventh when Seiya Suzuki singled off the glove of a diving Abrams to score Nick Madrigal from second.


Cubs: RHP Kyle Hendricks (strained right shoulder), on the injured list since July 6, has been cleared to begin a rehabilitation program in Arizona. … LHP Wade Miley (left shoulder strain) will make his fourth minor league rehab start on Tuesday.

Nationals: SS Luis Garcia (left groin strain) was placed on the 10-day injured list retroactive to Aug. 13.


Cubs: LHP Justin Steele (4-7, 3.63 ERA) has recorded 19 strikeouts over 10 2/3 innings of his last two starts, both no-decisions.

Nationals: LHP Patrick Corbin (4-16, 7.02 ERA), whose last turn was skipped after he failed to make it through the first inning in two of three starts, is 5-2 with a 3.97 ERA in eight career starts against the Cubs.

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