|Chi. Cubs (47-43) «||0||1||0||7||0||3||0||0||0||11||16||0|
WASHINGTON -- Looking for a strong start in the second half, a weekend trip to lowly Washington was exactly what the Chicago Cubs needed.
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."
• 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."
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.
|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|
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|Kosuke Fukudome, CF-RF||4||1||2||1||2||0||1||.262|
|Ryan Theriot, SS||3||1||1||1||0||0||2||.295|
|a- Andres Blanco, PH-SS||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.217|
|Derrek Lee, 1B||4||1||1||1||0||1||2||.284|
|b- Reed Johnson, PH-CF||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.258|
|Micah Hoffpauir, RF-1B||5||2||3||0||0||0||2||.248|
|Jake Fox, 3B-LF||5||2||3||4||0||1||1||.326|
|Alfonso Soriano, LF||3||1||2||2||1||0||2||.238|
|Jeff Baker, 3B||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.167|
|Mike Fontenot, 2B||5||1||3||1||0||1||2||.243|
|Koyie Hill, C||4||1||0||0||1||2||5||.212|
|Kevin Hart, P||3||1||1||1||0||1||2||.250|
|Jeff Samardzija, P||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jeff Stevens, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-grounded out for Theriot in the 7th|
|b-walked for Lee in the 7th|
|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|
|DP - Theriot-Fontenot-Lee|
|Kevin Hart (W,1-1)||5||5||2||2||5||1||0||2.30|
|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|
|Nyjer Morgan, CF||4||1||2||0||0||1||4||.293|
|Tyler Clippard, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Anderson Hernandez, LF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.254|
|Nick Johnson, 1B||2||0||0||0||2||1||3||.305|
|Willie Harris, 2B||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.241|
|Ryan Zimmerman, 3B||4||0||0||1||0||0||2||.282|
|Adam Dunn, LF||4||1||2||1||0||0||1||.265|
|Sean Burnett, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Mike MacDougal, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Josh Willingham, RF||2||1||0||0||2||1||1||.284|
|Josh Bard, C||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.258|
|Ronnie Belliard, 2B-1B||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.193|
|Alberto Gonzalez, SS||3||0||0||1||0||0||0||.317|
|Garrett Mock, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.000|
|Julian Tavarez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Cristian Guzman, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.301|
|Ron Villone, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Austin Kearns, PH-CF||2||0||1||0||0||0||0||.199|
|a-walked for Tavarez in the 4th|
|b-singled for Villone in the 6th|
|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|
|DP - Zimmerman-N. Johnson, Zimmerman-Belliard-N. Johnson|
|E - Josh Bard (4, Missed catch of throw), Alberto Gonzalez (9, Misplayed grounder)|
|Garrett Mock (L,0-3)||3.1||8||7||4||2||3||1||7.71|
|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|
|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|