Rapid Reaction: Nationals 5, Cubs 4


CHICAGO -- Here's a quick look at the Chicago Cubs' 5-4 loss to the Washington Nationals on Thursday:

How it happened: Denard Span doubled to open the 13th inning and later scored what proved to be the winning run on a groundout. Earlier, Donnie Murphy's two-out, two-run home run ruined a gem by Stephen Strasburg, who took a 4-1 lead into the ninth inning. Nate Schierholtz scored on an infield single by Junior Lake to cut the score to 4-2. Murphy's eighth home run tied the game and knocked out Strasburg, who struck out eight in 8 2/3. The Nationals got to Travis Wood to the tune of three runs over the first two innings before he settled down, but the runs turned out to be more than enough. Ryan Zimmerman homered in the first and Strasburg and shortstop Anthony Rendon drove in runs in the second. The Nats added a run in the seventh on a Steve Lombardozzi home run before Wood's day was done.

What it means: Wood hasn't been the same pitcher who earned an All-Star bid in the first half. Still, he's learning to battle without his best stuff and that counts for something as he kept his team in the game after a rough start. But the Cubs don't score for him.

Outside the box: The start of the game was delayed two hours because of rain. Injured players Luis Valbuena and Ryan Sweeney are headed to Mesa, Ariz., to start rehab assignments while Scott Baker gets a start at Class A Kane County on Friday.

What's next: The Cubs head out on a six-game trip starting with a series in San Diego on Friday. Edwin Jackson is scheduled to face Edinson Volquez in the series opener at 9:10 p.m. CT.