|Chi. Cubs (15-22) «||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||2||7||1|
WASHINGTON -- Welington Castillo got his bat on the ball at precisely the right time.
Even though it was a complete accident and Castillo didn't get credit for a hit, his bat essentially won the game for the Chicago Cubs.
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The Cubs didn't have a baserunner through the first five innings and trailed 1-0 entering the eighth before coming back in the deciding matchup of a three-game series.
Facing Nationals closer Rafael Soriano (0-1) in the ninth, Alfonso Soriano singled and took second on a single by Julio Borbon. After Ryan Sweeney struck out, both runners took off on a double steal with Castillo at the plate.
Suzuki's throw hit Castillo's bat. The ball veered well to the left of third base and into foul ground, allowing Alfonso Soriano to scoot home.
"I was just standing there and I just feel the ball hitting my bat and the ball fly into the outfield," Castillo said.
If Castillo moved into the throw, interference would have been called.
"I didn't move. I just looked," Castillo said. "Only thing that I say when [Suzuki] said something to the umpire is, `I didn't move.' And the umpire said, `I see you didn't move."'
Cubs manager Dale Sveum said, "The way you draw it up, that's the way you do it. Make the catcher get around you. Don't let him have the throwing lane."
Suzuki shrugged his shoulders afterward and said, "That's the first time I have ever done something like that, let alone saw it. It's one of those things, where a freak thing happens like that."
Alfonso Soriano concluded: "It's a huge play for us and we score a run and we don't have to hit the ball."
"A very big win for us," Alfonso Soriano said.
"To come back and win both games obviously against the two best pitchers in baseball showed me a lot about these guys," Sveum said.
Ryan Zimmerman drove in the run for the Nationals, who went 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position. After missing the first two games of the series with an ingrown toenail, Washington's Bryce Harper went 0 for 2 with two walks and is mired in 4-for-35 skid.
Nationals starter Gonzalez retired the first 15 batters he faced, finished with seven innings of two-hit ball and left with a 1-0 lead. But the bullpen couldn't make the advantage stand up.
"I feel like we have a great bullpen," said Gonzalez, who was pulled after throwing only 86 pitches. "You turn the page, move forward and go to the next series."
Gonzalez walked one and struck out six. He was flawless until Dioner Navarro opened the sixth by beating out a grounder deep in the hole that shortstop Ian Desmond gloved before opting not to attempt a throw.
The Cubs then used a walk and a single to load the bases with two outs before Gonzalez retired Anthony Rizzo on a grounder to first base.
Gonzalez concluded his performance with a perfect seventh.
In the eighth, however, Chicago pulled even against reliever Drew Storen. Navarro drew a leadoff walk and was replaced by pinch-runner Travis Wood, who advanced on a sacrifice and scored on a two-out single by Starlin Castro.
Cubs starter Scott Feldman gave up one run, five hits and three walks in six innings.
The Nationals hit two doubles and drew two walks in the first inning, but they left the bases loaded after Zimmerman doubled in a run.
Washington also stranded a runner in scoring position in the second and third innings. By that time, Feldman's pitch count was at 61.
|The Cubs trail 1-0 late before tying the game in the eighth inning and then plating the go-ahead run in the ninth via an error. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Starlin Castro, SS||3||0||1||1||1||0||0||.272|
|Cody Ransom, 3B||4||0||2||0||0||1||0||.295|
|Anthony Rizzo, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||0||5||.280|
|Alfonso Soriano, LF||4||1||1||0||0||2||0||.272|
|Kevin Gregg, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Scott Hairston, RF||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.136|
|James Russell, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Julio Borbon, PH-LF||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.261|
|Ryan Sweeney, CF-RF||4||0||0||0||0||3||2||.231|
|Dioner Navarro, C||3||0||2||0||0||1||0||.217|
|Travis Wood, PR||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||.143|
|Welington Castillo, C||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.282|
|Darwin Barney, 2B||3||0||0||0||0||0||2||.154|
|Scott Feldman, P||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||.118|
|Kyuji Fujikawa, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- David DeJesus, PH-CF||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.268|
|a-singled for Russell in the 9th|
|b-fouled out for Fujikawa in the 8th|
|SH - Darwin Barney (1)|
|RBI - Starlin Castro (17)|
|2-OUT RBI - Starlin Castro (8)|
|SB - Alfonso Soriano (5, off Soriano/Suzuki), Julio Borbon (3, 3rd base off Soriano/Suzuki)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Castro-Rizzo|
|E - Cody Ransom (3, Throwing)|
|James Russell (W,1-0)||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||0.63|
|Kevin Gregg (S,6)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||0.00|
|Pitches-Strikes - Scott Feldman 102-61, Kyuji Fujikawa 12-8, James Russell 16-7, Kevin Gregg 13-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Feldman 8-4, Kyuji Fujikawa 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Scott Feldman 26, Kyuji Fujikawa 3, James Russell 4, Kevin Gregg 3|
|Denard Span, CF||4||1||1||0||0||0||1||.273|
|Stephen Lombardozzi, LF||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.228|
|Drew Storen, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Rafael Soriano, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Bryce Harper, RF||2||0||0||0||2||0||0||.297|
|Ryan Zimmerman, 3B||4||0||2||1||0||1||1||.247|
|Adam LaRoche, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||2||3||.211|
|Ian Desmond, SS||2||0||0||0||2||1||2||.296|
|Danny Espinosa, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||1||5||.189|
|Kurt Suzuki, C||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.243|
|Gio Gonzalez, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.200|
|a- Chad Tracy, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.139|
|Roger Bernadina, LF||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.103|
|a-struck out for G. Gonzalez in the 7th|
|2B - Denard Span (6, Feldman), Ryan Zimmerman (3, Feldman)|
|SH - Gio Gonzalez (2)|
|RBI - Ryan Zimmerman (13)|
|SB - Ryan Zimmerman (2, 2nd base off Feldman/Navarro)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|E - Kurt Suzuki (2, Throwing)|
|Drew Storen (BS,2)||1||3||1||1||0||0||0||4.73|
|Rafael Soriano (L,0-1)||1||2||1||0||0||1||0||2.12|
|Pitches-Strikes - Gio Gonzalez 86-55, Drew Storen 16-11, Rafael Soriano 22-15|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Gio Gonzalez 4-11, Drew Storen 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Gio Gonzalez 24, Drew Storen 6, Rafael Soriano 5|
|Attendance - 38788|
|Game Time - 2:49|
|Temperature - 63|
|Umpires - Home - John Tumpane, First Base - Paul Nauert, Second Base - Angel Hernandez, Third Base - Doug Eddings|