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Washington at Chicago

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Chi. Cubs000101000280

Guillen homers again as Nationals win fifth straight

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- At 18 games above .500, the Washington Nationals have already made a statement: they're going to be a major factor all season in the NL East.

"We're in a tough division and a lot of people don't believe we're for real," Jose Guillen said Saturday after homering in a 4-2 win over the Chicago Cubs, Washington's fifth straight win.

"I think people are going to have to start believing. We have good pitching and good players," Guillen added.

Nationals starter Tony Armas, who missed the first five weeks this season with a groin pull, got his first road win as a starter in more than two years, lasting five innings plus and giving up two runs and seven hits.

"I'm just making progress. I'm happy. Every time out there I learn something new," Armas said.

"I just got to the fifth inning and then the relievers did the rest of the job. But I want to start pitching like I can pitch."

Armas (4-4) hadn't won a road start since April 10, 2003 -- at Wrigley Field -- and had been 0-6 in 10 starts since.

"Tony is still trying to get it all together. He was better today and his pitch count wasn't too high," Washington manager Frank Robinson said.

"He kept us in the game."

Chad Cordero pitched a perfect ninth for his major league-leading 29th save. He's converted 26 straight opportunities.

Chicago's Derrek Lee continued his remarkable first half with three more hits, including his 25th homer, a triple and a single.

Needing a double to hit for the cycle, Lee flied to center in the eighth inning.

"I was thinking just get on base and hopefully Jeromy (Burnitz) or Aramis (Ramirez) or somebody would hit a home run and tie it up," said Lee, who raised his average to .386 and is expected to make his first All-Star team Sunday.

"I feel like I'm going to have a good at-bat and put a good swing on the baseball and whatever happens, happens," Lee said.

Armas said Lee has such a good feel at the plate, it's difficult to get him out.

"I threw away, inside, he's just a guy you can't pitch to right now," Armas said. "You make high pitches, low pitches, he just hits everything."

But despite Lee's three-month tear, the Cubs are still scuffling offensively, prompting manager Dusty Baker to promise some changes, especially at the top of the order where heavily booed Corey Patterson is in a 2-for-20 slump after an 0-for-4 Saturday.

"We've all been there, you got to keep fighting and work your way out of it," Lee said about Patterson.

"Fans have a right to do what they are going to do. They're frustrated, so that's what they do. They boo."

Guillen hit his 17th homer in the first off Jerome Williams (1-3), a high fly ball that just carried over the left field fence with the wind blowing in at 10 mph.

Guillen also started a two-run fourth with a leadoff single, moved to second as Vinny Castilla walked, to third on a sacrifice and scored on Wil Cordero's sacrifice fly. Gary Bennett then delivered a two-out RBI single to put Washington up 3-0.

Lee's triple and an RBI grounder by Ramirez got the Cubs a run in the fourth.

But the Nationals responded in the top of the fifth when Brad Wilkerson hit a drive to the left center field wall that Todd Hollandsworth nearly caught before losing possession as he came down through the ivy. It went for a triple, and Junior Spivey followed with a sacrifice fly.

"I lost my balance when I jumped. I thought I was going to hit the wall and I didn't and then it was just chaos," Hollandsworth said. "I felt the ball among the leaves."

Lee homered to start the sixth and cut the lead to 4-2. After Armas walked Burnitz, he was replaced by Gary Majewski. Ramirez then hit a liner toward right that first baseman Cordero snagged, easily catching Burnitz off the bag for a double play.

It turned out to be a huge play because Todd Walker followed with a single and Hollandsworth drew a walk before Michael Barrett flied out.

Williams lasted seven innings, giving up five hits and four runs.

Notes

  • The announced crowd of 40,488 on a 67-degree day was the largest of the season at Wrigley Field.
  • Armas' 2003 season was cut short by shoulder surgery. He did not pitch after April 20 that season.
  • Nationals 1B Nick Johnson missed his fifth straight game with a bruised right heel. SS Cristian Guzman was also out of the lineup with a sore left hamstring, an injury sustained Thursday.
  • Ramirez returned to the Cubs' starting lineup. He'd been forced out of Thursday's game after being hit on the left shin with a pitch and had pinch-hit on Friday.
  • The Cubs have dropped three straight.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Jose Guillen homers for the second straight day to help lead the Nationals over the Cubs. (AP)
Jose Guillen homers for the second straight day to help lead the Nationals over the Cubs. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

D. Lee
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
Washington

J. Guillen
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Washington Nationals
Brad Wilkerson, CF4110000 .268
Junior Spivey, 2B3001010 .237
Jose Guillen, RF4221000 .305
Vinny Castilla, 3B2100120 .260
Marlon Byrd, LF3000011 .279
Wil Cordero, 1B3011000 .119
Gary Bennett, C4011031 .253
    Chad Cordero, P0000000 .000
Jamey Carroll, SS3000001 .252
Tony Armas, P2000000 .059
    Gary Majewski, P0000000 .000
   a- Rick Short, PH1000000 .500
    Joey Eischen, P00000001.000
    Hector Carrasco, P0000000 .000
    Brian Schneider, C0000000 .270
Totals29454173 
a-grounded out for Majewski in the 7th
Batting
2B - Wil Cordero (2, Williams)
3B - Brad Wilkerson (4, Williams)
HR - Jose Guillen (17, Williams)
SF - Junior Spivey (1), Wil Cordero (2)
SH - Marlon Byrd (3)
RBI - Junior Spivey (23), Jose Guillen (46), Wil Cordero (2), Gary Bennett (14)
2-OUT RBI - Jose Guillen (17), Gary Bennett (6)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Spivey-Carroll-Cordero, Cordero
Washington Nationals
Tony Armas (W,4-4) 5722161 5.27
Gary Majewski (H,14) 1100100 3.13
Joey Eischen (H,1) 1000020 3.72
Hector Carrasco (H,6) 1000000 1.86
Chad Cordero (S,29) 1000000 0.85
Pitches-Strikes - Tony Armas 97-60, Gary Majewski 17-8, Joey Eischen 13-8, Hector Carrasco 14-8, Chad Cordero 6-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tony Armas 4-4, Chad Cordero 2-1
Batters Faced - Tony Armas 22, Gary Majewski 4, Joey Eischen 3, Hector Carrasco 3, Chad Cordero 3
Chicago Cubs
Corey Patterson, CF4000032 .236
Neifi Perez, SS4010012 .273
Derrek Lee, 1B4231000 .386
Jeromy Burnitz, RF3000112 .275
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4011000 .299
Todd Walker, 2B4010021 .312
Todd Hollandsworth, LF3010101 .270
Michael Barrett, C4010003 .265
Jerome Williams, P1000011 .000
   a- Jerry Hairston Jr., PH1000000 .267
    Michael Wuertz, P0000000 .000
Totals322822812 
a-fouled out for Williams in the 7th
Batting
2B - Todd Hollandsworth (12, Armas)
3B - Derrek Lee (2, Armas)
HR - Derrek Lee (25, Armas)
SH - Jerome Williams (1)
RBI - Derrek Lee (67), Aramis Ramirez (50)
Team LOB - 6
Chicago Cubs
Jerome Williams (L,1-3) 7544131 4.96
Michael Wuertz 2000040 3.89
HBP - Castilla (by Jerome Williams)
Pitches-Strikes - Jerome Williams 88-60, Michael Wuertz 32-21
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jerome Williams 11-7
Batters Faced - Jerome Williams 28, Michael Wuertz 6
Game Information
Attendance - 40488
Game Time - 2:39
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Brian O'Nora, First Base - Ed Hickox, Second Base - Gary Cederstrom, Third Base - Tim Welke