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Nats Back Gonzalez With 6 HRs In 9-1 Win Over Cubs

Adam LaRoche #25 of the Washington Nationals hits a RBI single in the first inning against the Chicago Cubs at Nationals Park on September 5, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Adam LaRoche #25 of the Washington Nationals hits a RBI single in the first inning against the Chicago Cubs at Nationals Park on September 5, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Bryce Harper hit two homers and the Washington Nationals went deep six times for the second consecutive game, sending Gio Gonzalez to his 18th victory in a 9-1 rout of the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night.

Adam LaRoche kept up his tear at the plate with three hits for the Nationals, who have won four straight and own the best record in the majors at 84-52. They maintained a 7½-game lead over Atlanta in the NL East.

For the second game in a row, Washington tied a franchise record with six home runs. LaRoche has hit three of those 12 long balls, and his streak of reaching base in nine consecutive plate appearances was snapped by a seventh-inning strikeout.

LaRoche also has four singles and two walks in the past two games.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)