Washington at Chicago

W: J. Hammel (7-5) L: T. Roark (7-5)
HR: WAS - A. LaRoche (10)   CHC - None

Baker, Hammel help Cubs beat Nationals

CBSSports.com wire reports

CHICAGO -- The catcher had a career day and wanted to talk about his batterymate. The pitcher was pretty sharp himself and he wanted to talk about his catcher.

And so it goes for the suddenly improving Chicago Cubs, who are developing some chemistry and winning games following another forgettable start to a season.

John Baker had three hits, a walk and four RBIs in a 7-2 victory over Washington on Friday, while Jason Hammel continued his dominance of the Nationals, giving up two runs over 6 1-3 innings.

"Huge game," Hammel said in reference to Baker. "He was the hero today, for sure -- three big hits and he put down some good fingers for me, and that's pretty much all we needed."

Baker responded in kind.

"I'm more happy about Jason being able to win again," the catcher said. "He has pitched well the last few outings, so anything I can do to help out makes me happy."

Hammel (7-5) allowed five hits and one walk en route to his seventh victory in seven decisions against the Nationals in his career.

Chicago won for the 21st time in 38 games amid speculation that Hammel and other veterans could be moved before the trade deadline.

"(The players) have been developing a personality as a team," Manager Rick Renteria said. "They're having fun and getting to know each other, doing whatever it takes to play the game (the right way)."

A .160 hitter at game time, Baker capped his big day with a bases-loaded, three-run double off reliever Jerry Blevins in the seventh inning. The four RBIs matched Baker's career high for one game and doubled his season total to eight. He also had four RBIs against the Nationals on Sept. 4, 2009, in Washington. Chris Coghlan, Justin Ruggiano and Ryan Sweeney each had a pair of hits in the 13-hit attack.

Washington starter Tanner Roark (7-5) gave up four runs on 10 hits and one walk over six innings. He had won his previous four starts, not allowing more than two runs in any of them.

After Adam LaRoche launched a solo homer to right field that tied the score at 2-all in the fourth inning, Hammel retired the next 10 batters before Wilson Ramos singled with one out in the seventh inning. Reliever Brian Schlitter entered the game and induced Ian Desmond to bounce into an inning-ending double play.

The Cubs never looked back after Sweeney's two-out, two-run single gave them a 4-2 lead in the fourth inning. The hit scored Coghlan (single) and Baker (single).


Cubs OF Junior Lake was cleared by team physicians but did not play. He reluctantly left the series opener the previous night after a head-first collision with a steel door in right-center field. President of baseball operations Theo Epstein said the organization would look into padding the doors for safety purposes. ... Each team plans to use its so-called 26th man in the day-night doubleheader on Saturday -- rookie Dallas Beeler (0-0) for the Cubs in the opener and Blake Treinen (0-3) for the Nationals in the nightcap. Gio Gonzalez (4-4) will open for the visitors in the afternoon contest, while Jeff Samardzija (2-6) will get the ball for the home team in the second game. The Nationals are expected to promote LHP Xavier Cedeno from Triple-A Syracuse for the game, while RHP Taylor Hill will move down to create a roster spot. ... The Nationals are hoping that OF Bryce Harper (left thumb surgery) will return to the parent club early next week.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

J. Baker
AB 3
R 1
H 3
HR 0

A. LaRoche
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

Washington Nationals
Denard Span, CF4000021 .264
Anthony Rendon, 3B4020000 .276
Jayson Werth, RF4000003 .268
Adam LaRoche, 1B4221010 .309
Ryan Zimmerman, LF4011010 .246
Wilson Ramos, C3010100 .276
Ian Desmond, SS3000011 .234
Danny Espinosa, 2B3000022 .219
Tanner Roark, P2000002 .154
   Jerry Blevins, P0000000 .000
   Aaron Barrett, P0000000 .000
   a-Kevin Frandsen, PH1010000 .238
   Taylor Hill, P0000000 .000
a-singled for Barrett in the 8th
2B - Ryan Zimmerman (11, Hammel)
HR - Adam LaRoche (10, Hammel)
RBI - Adam LaRoche (40), Ryan Zimmerman (19)
CS - Anthony Rendon (1, 2nd base by Hammel/Baker)
Team LOB - 4
DP - Espinosa-LaRoche
Washington Nationals
Tanner Roark (L,7-5) 61044120 2.98
Jerry Blevins 0.2233210 5.34
Aaron Barrett 0.1000010 1.67
Taylor Hill 1100000 4.15
IBB - Castro by Jerry Blevins
WP - Jerry Blevins (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Tanner Roark 101-72, Jerry Blevins 26-12, Aaron Barrett 5-3, Taylor Hill 13-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tanner Roark 7-8, Taylor Hill 1-2
Batters Faced - Tanner Roark 28, Jerry Blevins 6, Aaron Barrett 1, Taylor Hill 4
Chicago (N.L.) Cubs
Ryan Sweeney, RF5022003 .202
Justin Ruggiano, CF5120013 .248
Anthony Rizzo, 1B5010004 .289
Starlin Castro, SS3100101 .284
Luis Valbuena, 3B3210100 .267
Chris Coghlan, LF4220013 .207
John Baker, C3134100 .186
Darwin Barney, 2B4011011 .205
Jason Hammel, P3010014 .125
   Brian Schlitter, P00000001.000
   Wesley Wright, P0000000 .000
   a-Nate Schierholtz, PH1000000 .199
   Justin Grimm, P0000000 .000
a-popped out for Wright in the 8th
2B - Justin Ruggiano (7, Blevins), Luis Valbuena (20, Roark), John Baker (3, Blevins)
RBI - Ryan Sweeney 2 (8), John Baker 4 (8), Darwin Barney (15)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Sweeney 2 (2), John Baker 3 (5)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Castro-Barney-Rizzo
Chicago (N.L.) Cubs
Jason Hammel (W,7-5) 6.1522161 2.98
Brian Schlitter (H,11) 0.2000000 2.78
Wesley Wright 1200010 2.45
Justin Grimm 1000000 3.03
WP - Jason Hammel (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Hammel 101-64, Brian Schlitter 3-1, Wesley Wright 19-11, Justin Grimm 9-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Hammel 6-6, Brian Schlitter 1-0, Wesley Wright 1-1, Justin Grimm 1-2
Batters Faced - Jason Hammel 24, Brian Schlitter 1, Wesley Wright 5, Justin Grimm 3
Game Information
Attendance - 30683
Game Time - 2:49
Temperature - 83
Umpires - Home - Mike Estabrook, First Base - Jerry Layne, Second Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Third Base - Mike DiMuro