Rapid Reaction: Cubs 5, Nationals 3

June, 26, 2014
Jun 26
10:03
PM CT
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs beat the Washington Nationals 5-3 on Thursday night. Here’s a look at the game.

How it happened: The Cubs retook the lead for good when Justin Ruggiano doubled home two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning -- just after the Nationals tied the game with two scores of their own in the top of the inning. The Cubs tallied three times in the fourth, thanks to a Starlin Castro two-run single followed by a Welington Castillo RBI hit. Washington finally got on the board against starter Travis Wood in the sixth after Anthony Rendon drove home Denard Span. The Nats chased Wood in the seventh when Span doubled home two runs to tie the game, but the Cubs quickly regained the lead a few minutes later. Hector Rondon earned his ninth save.

What it means: Castro will easily get to 50 RBIs before the All-Star break after earning No. 46, then No. 47 on a broken-bat hit to left. Those were the plays he wasn’t getting last year, as he’s used the entire field in 2014; the evidence is in his numbers. Anthony Rizzo went 3-for-4 as both players continue to bolster their bids for the Midsummer Classic in mid-July.

Lake OK: Junior Lake left the game in the second inning after a scary crash into the batting-cage door in the right-center wall. His leg and face hit the door as he tracked down a fly ball by Ryan Zimmerman that landed for a double. Lake was slow to get up but eventually walked off under his own power. The Cubs announced Lake had only bruises and no concussion symptoms.

Ramirez starts: Cubs farmhand Manny Ramirez was in the starting lineup for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs in Game 2 of their doubleheader against Colorado Springs.

What’s next: Game 2 of the series with the Nats takes place Friday at 3:05 p.m. CT, when Jason Hammel (6-5, 2.99 ERA) faces Tanner Roark (7-4, 2.79).

Jesse Rogers | email

Chicago Cubs beat reporter
Jesse joined ESPN Chicago in September 2009 and covers the Chicago Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Jason Hammel
WINS ERA SO IP
8 2.98 104 108
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Rizzo .285
HRA. Rizzo 25
RBIA. Rizzo 55
RA. Rizzo 71
OPSA. Rizzo .925
ERAJ. Samardzija 2.83
SOJ. Hammel 104