Contreras, Avila homers lead Cubs over Nationals 7-4

CHICAGO (AP) Although it was supposed to be a day off for Willson Contreras, the Cubs regular catcher was in the lineup playing left field on Saturday.

As far as manager Joe Maddon is concerned, Contreras can rest when he's not red hot at the plate.

Contreras homered and drove in three runs, Alex Avila homered for his first hit with the Cubs and Chicago beat the Washington Nationals 7-4 to even the series between division leaders.

Contreras is batting .444 (8 for 18) with three homers and 11 RBIs in the five games of the current home stand and has reached base in 19 straight.

''I had to keep him in the lineup,'' Maddon said. ''I mean, he's swinging the bat so well.''

Kris Bryant and Jon Jay each added a run-scoring hit as the Cubs snapped a three-game losing streak.

Bryce Harper hit his 28th homer and threw out a runner at third base for the Nationals, but struck out in two key spots.

John Lackey (9-9) allowed three runs (two earned) and six hits in five innings to win his fourth straight start. Wade Davis got the final three outs - striking out Harper, the potential tying run, to end it - for his 23rd save.

''He's definitely tough in that situation,'' Harper said of Davis. ''I had one pitch that I could drive and I hit it foul. I knew if I missed a pitch against him, it would be a tough at-bat.''

Harper also struck out against Lackey in the fifth with a runner in scoring position.

Washington starter Edwin Jackson (2-2) allowed four runs and six hits in five innings. Harper's solo shot in the first gave the Nationals a quick lead, but the Cubs responded with four in the bottom of the inning. Bryant drove in the first run with a double and Contreras followed with an RBI single to score Bryant. After a single by Ben Zobrist - Contreras was thrown out by Harper trying to advance to third - Avila's two-run shot made it 4-1.

''It felt really good,'' said Avila, who was acquired on Monday to back up Contreras. ''I glad to get it over with and out of the way.''

Washington scored twice in the fourth to make it 4-3. Anthony Rendon had a sacrifice fly and Matt Wieters added an RBI single.

Contreras' two-run blast off Matt Grace in the sixth was for a 6-3 lead and Jay's RBI single in the seventh made it 7-3.

The Nationals added an unearned run in the eighth to cap the scoring.

Contreras believes the key to his hot streak is simply taking advantage of the pitches he can handle.

''That's what hitting is all about,'' he said. ''Just being ready for your pitch, and if you get it, take advantage of it.''

WIETERS EJECTED

Wieters, Washington's catcher, was ejected following the sixth by home plate umpire Chad Whitson. After Chicago's Jason Heyward struck out swinging to end the inning, Wieters turned toward Whitson and said something as he was leaving the field. Whitson immediately tossed Wieters.

''To be honest with you, he pretty much gave me the warning to quit arguing about balls and strikes,'' Wieters said. ''I was more arguing that they had a different strike zone than we had.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer (stiff neck) won't take his regular turn on Sunday, but is improving and hopes to start Monday against Miami.

Cubs: 3B Bryant admits he still is bothered by a nagging injury to the pinkie on his left hand. ''It's something you've got to play through,'' he said. ''It's probably going to be there for another couple weeks.''

UP NEXT

Cubs LHP Jon Lester (8-6, 3.96 ERA) will face RHP Erick Fedde (0-1, 15.75) in the finale of the three-game series. Lester is 3-0 with a 2.77 ERA in four starts since the All-Star break, while Fedde will be making his second major league start.

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

123456789RHE
WAS64-44
100200010471
CHC58-51
40000210X792
  • W: J. Lackey (9-9)L: E. Jackson (2-2)S: W. Davis (23)
  • HR: WAS - B. Harper (28), CHC - A. Avila (12), W. Contreras (19)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
B. Goodwin CF30000201.240.309.480.7892.0
W. Difo SS40100123.260.321.367.6893.0
B. Harper RF52211025.327.424.6201.0457.0
R. Zimmerman 1B31100101.309.352.573.9253.0
D. Murphy 2B41100012.332.384.577.9621.5
A. Rendon 3B30010001.309.413.569.9821.0
A. Lind LF40000022.298.346.512.858-1.0
M. Wieters C20210000.244.295.373.6684.0
a- A. Stevenson PH10000000.077.077.077.1540.0
M. Albers P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
S. Solis P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
b- H. Kendrick PH10000000.356.408.485.8920.0
E. Jackson P20000012.000.000.000.000-0.5
M. Grace P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
c- J. Lobaton PH-C10000110.157.223.304.5270.5
  • a-grounded out for Wieters in the 7th
  • b-grounded out for Solis in the 9th
  • c-struck out for Grace in the 7th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
J. Jay CF41210011.305.396.395.7924.5
J. Wilson P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
W. Davis P00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
K. Bryant 3B31110121.275.388.509.8974.0
A. Rizzo 1B41100023.260.388.515.9031.0
W. Contreras LF41231012.279.347.514.8618.5
B. Zobrist 2B41100020.225.317.368.6841.0
A. Avila C41121010.271.391.480.8716.5
J. Heyward RF40000030.247.304.387.691-1.5
J. Baez SS30100010.267.306.487.7932.5
J. Lackey P10000000.128.150.154.3040.0
a- K. Schwarber PH10000011.192.306.421.727-0.5
B. Duensing P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
P. Strop P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
b- I. Happ PH-CF01000100.244.319.491.8114.0
  • a-struck out for Lackey in the 5th
  • b-walked for Strop in the 7th
BATTING
  • 2B - M. Wieters (18)
  • HR - B. Harper (28)
  • SF - A. Rendon (4)
  • RBI - B. Harper (81), A. Rendon (72), M. Wieters (38)
  • 2-Out RBI - B. Harper (34), M. Wieters (8)
BATTING
  • 2B - J. Jay (12), K. Bryant (22)
  • HR - W. Contreras (19), A. Avila (12)
  • RBI - J. Jay (21), K. Bryant (48), W. Contreras 3 (68), A. Avila 2 (34)
  • 2-Out RBI - A. Avila 2 (15)
BASERUNNING
  • SB - W. Difo (4)
BASERUNNING
  • SB - J. Baez (5), I. Happ (6)
FIELDING
  • Outfield Assist - B. Harper (8)
  • E - J. Lobaton (6)
FIELDING
  • E - J. Baez (12), W. Contreras (14)
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
E. Jackson (L, 2-2)5.06440814.341.384.0
M. Grace1.02220214.601.400.0
M. Albers0.11112002.231.04-4.0
S. Solis1.200004011.811.975.0
PITCHERSIP
E. Jackson (L, 2-2)5.0
M. Grace1.0
M. Albers0.1
S. Solis1.2
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
J. Lackey (W, 9-9)5.06321314.811.3314.5
B. Duensing (H, 4)1.00000202.331.064.0
P. Strop (H, 14)1.00001202.411.123.0
J. Wilson1.01101002.701.041.0
W. Davis (S, 23)1.00002202.371.219.0
PITCHERSIP
J. Lackey (W, 9-9)5.0
B. Duensing (H, 4)1.0
P. Strop (H, 14)1.0
J. Wilson1.0
W. Davis (S, 23)1.0
PITCHING
  • Pitches-Strikes - E. Jackson 101-63, M. Grace 17-12, M. Albers 18-6, S. Solis 26-16
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - E. Jackson 3-3, M. Grace 1-0, S. Solis 1-0
  • Batters Faced - E. Jackson 20, M. Grace 5, M. Albers 4, S. Solis 5
PITCHING
  • Pitches-Strikes - J. Lackey 95-59, B. Duensing 12-7, P. Strop 21-11, J. Wilson 22-12, W. Davis 30-17
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Lackey 4-8, B. Duensing 1-0, P. Strop 1-0, J. Wilson 2-1, W. Davis 1-0
  • Batters Faced - J. Lackey 22, B. Duensing 3, P. Strop 4, J. Wilson 5, W. Davis 5
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
123456789RHE
WAS64-44
100200010471
CHC58-51
40000210X792
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
B. Goodwin CF30000201.240.309.480.7892.0
W. Difo SS40100123.260.321.367.6893.0
B. Harper RF52211025.327.424.6201.0457.0
R. Zimmerman 1B31100101.309.352.573.9253.0
D. Murphy 2B41100012.332.384.577.9621.5
A. Rendon 3B30010001.309.413.569.9821.0
A. Lind LF40000022.298.346.512.858-1.0
M. Wieters C20210000.244.295.373.6684.0
a- A. Stevenson PH10000000.077.077.077.1540.0
M. Albers P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
S. Solis P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
b- H. Kendrick PH10000000.356.408.485.8920.0
E. Jackson P20000012.000.000.000.000-0.5
M. Grace P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
c- J. Lobaton PH-C10000110.157.223.304.5270.5
Total3347315917-----
  • a-grounded out for Wieters in the 7th
  • b-grounded out for Solis in the 9th
  • c-struck out for Grace in the 7th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
J. Jay CF41210011.305.396.395.7924.5
J. Wilson P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
W. Davis P00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
K. Bryant 3B31110121.275.388.509.8974.0
A. Rizzo 1B41100023.260.388.515.9031.0
W. Contreras LF41231012.279.347.514.8618.5
B. Zobrist 2B41100020.225.317.368.6841.0
A. Avila C41121010.271.391.480.8716.5
J. Heyward RF40000030.247.304.387.691-1.5
J. Baez SS30100010.267.306.487.7932.5
J. Lackey P10000000.128.150.154.3040.0
a- K. Schwarber PH10000011.192.306.421.727-0.5
B. Duensing P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
P. Strop P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
b- I. Happ PH-CF01000100.244.319.491.8114.0
Total3279722148-----
  • a-struck out for Lackey in the 5th
  • b-walked for Strop in the 7th
BATTING
  • 2B - M. Wieters (18)
  • HR - B. Harper (28)
  • SF - A. Rendon (4)
  • RBI - B. Harper (81), A. Rendon (72), M. Wieters (38)
  • 2-Out RBI - B. Harper (34), M. Wieters (8)
BATTING
  • 2B - J. Jay (12), K. Bryant (22)
  • HR - W. Contreras (19), A. Avila (12)
  • RBI - J. Jay (21), K. Bryant (48), W. Contreras 3 (68), A. Avila 2 (34)
  • 2-Out RBI - A. Avila 2 (15)
BASERUNNING
  • SB - W. Difo (4)
BASERUNNING
  • SB - J. Baez (5), I. Happ (6)
FIELDING
  • Outfield Assist - B. Harper (8)
  • E - J. Lobaton (6)
FIELDING
  • E - J. Baez (12), W. Contreras (14)
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
E. Jackson (L, 2-2)5.06440814.341.384.0
M. Grace1.02220214.601.400.0
M. Albers0.11112002.231.04-4.0
S. Solis1.200004011.811.975.0
Total8.09772142---
PITCHERSIP
E. Jackson (L, 2-2)5.0
M. Grace1.0
M. Albers0.1
S. Solis1.2
Total8.0
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
J. Lackey (W, 9-9)5.06321314.811.3314.5
B. Duensing (H, 4)1.00000202.331.064.0
P. Strop (H, 14)1.00001202.411.123.0
J. Wilson1.01101002.701.041.0
W. Davis (S, 23)1.00002202.371.219.0
Total9.0742591---
PITCHERSIP
J. Lackey (W, 9-9)5.0
B. Duensing (H, 4)1.0
P. Strop (H, 14)1.0
J. Wilson1.0
W. Davis (S, 23)1.0
Total9.0
PITCHING
  • Pitches-Strikes - E. Jackson 101-63, M. Grace 17-12, M. Albers 18-6, S. Solis 26-16
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - E. Jackson 3-3, M. Grace 1-0, S. Solis 1-0
  • Batters Faced - E. Jackson 20, M. Grace 5, M. Albers 4, S. Solis 5
PITCHING
  • Pitches-Strikes - J. Lackey 95-59, B. Duensing 12-7, P. Strop 21-11, J. Wilson 22-12, W. Davis 30-17
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Lackey 4-8, B. Duensing 1-0, P. Strop 1-0, J. Wilson 2-1, W. Davis 1-0
  • Batters Faced - J. Lackey 22, B. Duensing 3, P. Strop 4, J. Wilson 5, W. Davis 5
  • 8TH INNING
    Rendon reached on fielder's choice to second, Harper scored, Zimmerman out at second on 2nd baseman Baez fielding error47
  • 7TH INNING
    Jay singled to center, Happ scored37
  • 6TH INNING
    Contreras homered to left, Rizzo scored36
  • 4TH INNING
    Wieters singled to shallow center, Murphy scored34
    Rendon hit sacrifice fly to left, Zimmerman scored, Murphy to second on catcher Contreras fielding error24
  • 1ST INNING
    Avila homered to center, Zobrist scored14
    Contreras reached on an infield single to pitcher, Bryant scored12
    Bryant doubled to deep center, Jay scored11
    Harper homered to right10
  • 9TH INNING
    • Wade Davis relieved Justin Wilson
    • Howie Kendrick hit for Sammy Solis
    • H. Kendrick: Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Kendrick grounded out to shortstop
    • J. Lobaton: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Lobaton walked
    • B. Goodwin: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Goodwin walked, Lobaton to second
    • W. Difo: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Difo struck out swinging
    • B. Harper: Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Harper struck out swinging
    • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 8TH INNING
    • Justin Wilson pitching
    • Ian Happ in center
    • B. Harper: Strike looking, Harper singled to left
    • R. Zimmerman: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Zimmerman walked, Harper to second
    • D. Murphy: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Murphy fouled out to third
    • A. Rendon: Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Rendon reached on fielder's choice to second, Harper scored, Zimmerman out at second on 2nd baseman Baez fielding error
    • A. Lind: Ball, Lind grounded out to second
    • Middle of the 8th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 1 Error)
    • S. Solis Pitching:
    • B. Zobrist: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Zobrist struck out swinging
    • A. Avila: Ball, Ball, Avila grounded out to second
    • J. Heyward: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Heyward struck out swinging
    • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 7TH INNING
    • Andrew Stevenson hit for Matt Wieters
    • Pedro Strop pitching
    • A. Stevenson: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Stevenson grounded out to first
    • Jose Lobaton hit for Matt Grace
    • J. Lobaton: Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Lobaton struck out swinging
    • B. Goodwin: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Goodwin walked
    • W. Difo: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Difo struck out swinging
    • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • Matt Albers pitching
    • J. Baez: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Baez lined out to first
    • Ian Happ hit for Pedro Strop
    • I. Happ: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Happ walked
    • J. Jay: Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Happ to third on catcher Lobaton fielding error, Ball, Ball, Ball, Jay singled to center, Happ scored
    • K. Bryant: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Bryant walked, Jay to second
    • Sammy Solis relieved Matt Albers
    • A. Rizzo: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul tip, Rizzo struck out on foul tip
    • W. Contreras: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Contreras struck out swinging
    • End of the 7th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 1 Error)
  • 6TH INNING
    • Brian Duensing pitching
    • D. Murphy: Ball, Strike (foul tip), Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Murphy struck out looking
    • A. Rendon: Rendon grounded out to third
    • A. Lind: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Lind struck out looking
    • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • Matt Grace relieved Edwin Jackson
    • A. Rizzo: Strike looking, Rizzo singled to deep right
    • W. Contreras: Contreras homered to left, Rizzo scored
    • B. Zobrist: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul tip, Zobrist struck out on foul tip
    • A. Avila: Strike looking, Ball, Avila grounded out to second
    • J. Heyward: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Heyward struck out swinging
    • End of the 6th (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 5TH INNING
    • J. Lackey Pitching:
    • B. Goodwin: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Goodwin grounded out to second
    • W. Difo: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Difo singled to center
    • B. Harper: Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Harper struck out swinging
    • R. Zimmerman: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Difo stole second, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Zimmerman flied out to deep center
    • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
    • E. Jackson Pitching:
    • J. Baez: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Baez reached on an infield single to pitcher
    • Kyle Schwarber hit for John Lackey
    • K. Schwarber: Strike (foul tip), Baez stole second, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Schwarber struck out looking
    • J. Jay: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Jay flied out to deep right, Baez to third
    • K. Bryant: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Bryant struck out swinging
    • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
  • 4TH INNING
    • J. Lackey Pitching:
    • R. Zimmerman: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Zimmerman singled to right
    • D. Murphy: Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Murphy singled to shallow right, Zimmerman to third
    • A. Rendon: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Rendon hit sacrifice fly to left, Zimmerman scored, Murphy to second on catcher Contreras fielding error
    • A. Lind: Strike looking, Ball, Lind fouled out to catcher
    • M. Wieters: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Wieters singled to shallow center, Murphy scored
    • E. Jackson: Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike looking, Jackson struck out looking
    • Middle of the 4th (2 Runs, 3 Hits, 1 Error)
    • E. Jackson Pitching:
    • B. Zobrist: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Zobrist popped out to shortstop
    • A. Avila: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Avila struck out swinging
    • J. Heyward: Ball, Heyward lined out to center
    • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 3RD INNING
    • J. Lackey Pitching:
    • M. Wieters: Strike looking, Foul, Wieters doubled to deep left
    • E. Jackson: Jackson lined out to center
    • B. Goodwin: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Goodwin flied out to right
    • W. Difo: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Difo walked
    • B. Harper: Ball, Harper grounded out to first
    • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
    • E. Jackson Pitching:
    • K. Bryant: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul tip, Bryant struck out on foul tip
    • A. Rizzo: Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Rizzo struck out swinging
    • W. Contreras: Contreras grounded out to second
    • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 2ND INNING
    • J. Lackey Pitching:
    • D. Murphy: Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Murphy flied out to deep left
    • A. Rendon: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Rendon popped out to second
    • A. Lind: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Lind struck out swinging
    • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • E. Jackson Pitching:
    • J. Baez: Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Baez struck out swinging
    • J. Lackey: Ball, Strike looking, Lackey grounded out to pitcher
    • J. Jay: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Strike looking, Jay struck out looking
    • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 1ST INNING
    • J. Lackey Pitching:
    • B. Goodwin: Ball, Goodwin lined out to center
    • W. Difo: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Difo grounded out to pitcher
    • B. Harper: Foul, Ball, Foul, Harper homered to right
    • R. Zimmerman: Zimmerman grounded out to third
    • Middle of the 1st (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
    • E. Jackson Pitching:
    • J. Jay: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Jay doubled to deep left
    • K. Bryant: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Bryant doubled to deep center, Jay scored
    • A. Rizzo: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Rizzo grounded out to pitcher, Bryant to third
    • W. Contreras: Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Contreras reached on an infield single to pitcher, Bryant scored
    • B. Zobrist: Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Zobrist singled to right, Contreras out at third
    • A. Avila: Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Avila homered to center, Zobrist scored
    • J. Heyward: Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Heyward struck out swinging
    • End of the 1st (4 Runs, 5 Hits, 0 Errors)