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Chicago at Washington

Scoreboard
Chi. Cubs (47-43) «01070300011160
Washington (26-65)011000100372

Soriano homers again, Cubs complete sweep in D.C.

CBSSports.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- Looking for a strong start in the second half, a weekend trip to lowly Washington was exactly what the Chicago Cubs needed.

Alfonso Soriano's two-run homer keyed a seven-run fourth inning and Chicago completed a four-game sweep of the Nationals with an 11-3 victory Sunday.

Soriano's 16th home run, his second in two games after a drought of 120 at-bats, began the biggest inning of the season for the Cubs. Starting pitcher Kevin Hart also contributed by faking a bunt and punching an RBI single.

"When you get ahead of them, that's where you want to be because it seems like it kind of takes the wind out of their sails," Chicago's Jake Fox said. "That home run put us ahead of them and we stayed ahead of them all day."

Fox had a fine day, too, with three hits and a career-high four RBI. His three-run homer in the sixth gave Chicago an 11-2 lead.

Adam Dunn hit his 24th homer but Washington dropped to 0-4 under interim manager Jim Riggleman, who took over when Manny Acta was fired at the All-Star break. The Nationals have the worst record in the majors at 26-65. They've lost five in a row and nine of 10.

A year ago, Riggleman took over for the fired John McLaren in Seattle and won three of his first four games. The first four with the Nationals have been more difficult.

"Today was a step backward," Riggleman said. "It was a breakdown all the way around."

Mike Fontenot and Micah Hoffpauir also had three hits for the Cubs, who outscored Washington 26-11 in the sweep. Chicago has won six of seven.

  Nationals: Designate right-hander Tavarez

After the game, the Cubs boarded a bus to Philadelphia, where they'll play baseball's hottest team. The Phillies have won eight in a row.

"We'll go into Philly with some momentum, playing better on the road," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "They're hot as heck, so we'll see."

Chicago had 16 hits, equaling a season high.

"It's a good team over there," Washington third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said. "They're a better team."

Hart (1-1), who spent the All-Star break pitching at Class A Peoria, was recalled to make the start. He pitched five innings, yielding two runs and five hits while walking five and striking out one. The hit and RBI were the first of Hart's career.

It was the walks -- not his hit -- that Hart wanted to talk about.

"They're killing me," Hart said. "I've been fortunate the last few times out to pitch out of some jams. I know if I keep it up I'm not going to be as fortunate every time."

Chicago's seven-run fourth also included two Nationals errors and RBI singles by Kosuke Fukudome, Derrek Lee and Fox and a sacrifice fly by Ryan Theriot.

Garrett Mock (0-3), who was summoned from Triple-A Syracuse after winning five in a row there, surrendered seven runs -- four earned -- in 3 1/3 innings for Washington.

The Nationals scored in the second and third on sacrifice flies by Alberto Gonzalez and Zimmerman. Dunn connected in the seventh.

Notes

  • Washington designated RHP Julian Tavarez for assignment and called up RHP Logan Kensing from Syracuse on Monday.
  • J.D. Martin will make his major league debut Monday as the Nationals starter against the New York Mets. Martin was 8-3 with a 2.66 ERA at Syracuse. To make room for him, Washington put LHP Scott Olsen on the 15-day disabled list with a back injury.
  • To make room for Hart, the Cubs sent OF Sam Fuld to Triple-A Iowa.
  • SS Cristian Guzman, who missed the previous two games with bunions, pinch hit in the fourth inning.
  • The Nationals have left the bases loaded four times in the past three games.
  • Dunn's 24 homers are the most by a Nationals left-handed hitter in a season.
  • Piniella sat slumping OF Milton Bradley. "I had a nice talk with him today, and tomorrow we'll start working on some things that I think will help him," Piniella said.
 
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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Alfonso Soriano belts a two-run blast, his second HR in two games after a stretch of 120 homerless at-bats.  (AP)
Alfonso Soriano belts a two-run blast, his second HR in two games after a stretch of 120 homerless at-bats. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

J. Fox
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 4
Chicago

A. Soriano
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Chicago Cubs
Kosuke Fukudome, CF-RF4121201 .262
Ryan Theriot, SS3111002 .295
   a- Andres Blanco, PH-SS2000010 .217
Derrek Lee, 1B4111012 .284
   b- Reed Johnson, PH-CF0000100 .258
Micah Hoffpauir, RF-1B5230002 .248
Jake Fox, 3B-LF5234011 .326
Alfonso Soriano, LF3122102 .238
    Jeff Baker, 3B1000000 .167
Mike Fontenot, 2B5131012 .243
Koyie Hill, C4100125 .212
Kevin Hart, P3111012 .250
    Jeff Samardzija, P2000000 .000
    Jeff Stevens, P0000000 .000
Totals4111161157  
a-grounded out for Theriot in the 7th
b-walked for Lee in the 7th
Batting
2B - Kosuke Fukudome (19, Mock), Jake Fox (8, Burnett), Alfonso Soriano (20, Mock), Mike Fontenot (13, Mock)
HR - Jake Fox (5, Villone), Alfonso Soriano (16, Mock)
SF - Ryan Theriot (4)
RBI - Kosuke Fukudome (28), Ryan Theriot (35), Derrek Lee (59), Jake Fox 4 (19), Alfonso Soriano 2 (38), Mike Fontenot (30), Kevin Hart (1)
2-OUT RBI - Derrek Lee (20), Jake Fox (10)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Theriot-Fontenot-Lee
Chicago Cubs
Kevin Hart (W,1-1) 5522510 2.30
Jeff Samardzija 3211031 4.38
Jeff Stevens 1000100 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Hart 81-45, Jeff Samardzija 41-29, Jeff Stevens 13-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Hart 5-8, Jeff Samardzija 3-3, Jeff Stevens 1-2
Batters Faced - Kevin Hart 24, Jeff Samardzija 11, Jeff Stevens 4
Washington Nationals
Nyjer Morgan, CF4120014 .293
    Tyler Clippard, P0000000 .000
    Anderson Hernandez, LF1000000 .254
Nick Johnson, 1B2000213 .305
    Willie Harris, 2B0000100 .241
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4001002 .282
Adam Dunn, LF4121001 .265
    Sean Burnett, P0000000 .000
    Mike MacDougal, P0000000 .000
Josh Willingham, RF2100211 .284
Josh Bard, C4010001 .258
Ronnie Belliard, 2B-1B4010001 .193
Alberto Gonzalez, SS3001000 .317
Garrett Mock, P1000011 .000
    Julian Tavarez, P0000000 .000
   a- Cristian Guzman, PH0000100 .301
    Ron Villone, P0000000 .000
   b- Austin Kearns, PH-CF2010000 .199
Totals3137364  
a-walked for Tavarez in the 4th
b-singled for Villone in the 6th
Batting
HR - Adam Dunn (24, Samardzija)
SF - Ryan Zimmerman (6), Alberto Gonzalez (2)
RBI - Ryan Zimmerman (56), Adam Dunn (64), Alberto Gonzalez (15)
2-OUT RBI - Adam Dunn (13)
SB - Nyjer Morgan 2 (28, 2nd base off Hart/Hill, 3rd base off Hart/Hill)
CS - Nyjer Morgan (12, 2nd base by Hart/Hill)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Zimmerman-N. Johnson, Zimmerman-Belliard-N. Johnson
E - Josh Bard (4, Missed catch of throw), Alberto Gonzalez (9, Misplayed grounder)
Washington Nationals
Garrett Mock (L,0-3) 3.1874231 7.71
Julian Tavarez 0.2311000 4.89
Ron Villone 2433111 4.50
Tyler Clippard 1000200 2.79
Sean Burnett 1100020 2.66
Mike MacDougal 1000010 4.24
WP - Garrett Mock 2 (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Garrett Mock 63-38, Julian Tavarez 19-13, Ron Villone 46-29, Tyler Clippard 20-12, Sean Burnett 18-10, Mike MacDougal 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Garrett Mock 4-2, Ron Villone 3-2, Tyler Clippard 2-1, Sean Burnett 1-0, Mike MacDougal 2-0
Batters Faced - Garrett Mock 19, Julian Tavarez 5, Ron Villone 11, Tyler Clippard 5, Sean Burnett 4, Mike MacDougal 3
Game Information
Attendance - 34574
Game Time - 3:05
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Mike Estabrook, First Base - Paul Emmel, Second Base - Gary Darling, Third Base - D.J. Reyburn