CHICAGO (AP) — Daniel Murphy hit two home runs to back Tanner Roark, and the Washington Nationals won the opener of a series between division leaders by beating the Chicago Cubs, 4-2, on a chilly Friday afternoon.
With the game-time temperature at 63, Murphy hit a two-run homer in the first and connected off Kyle Hendricks leading off the sixth for a 3-0 lead.
Roark (9-7) didn’t allow a run until Javier Baez chased him with a two-run homer with one out in the seventh. Roark allowed five hits while improving to 3-1 in his past four starts.
Hendricks (4-4) gave up three runs and five hits in seven innings. Chicago has lost three straight after winning 14 of 17 following the All-Star break.
Murphy hit a two-run drive halfway up the bleachers in right-center in the first, then went the opposite way in the sixth, driving his 19th home run to left-center. That gave him two multi-homer games this season and five in his career.
After Baez cut the lead to one in the seventh with his 15th home run, Brian Kintzler got the final two outs of the inning.
Anthony Rendon hit a sacrifice fly against Carl Edwards Jr. in the eighth.
Ryan Madson worked the bottom half, and Sean Doolittle finished for his fifth save in as many chances since he was acquired from Oakland on July 16. He gave up a leadoff single to Jason Heyward before striking out Baez and getting Ian Happ to ground into a double play.
Nationals: Two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer and Gio Gonzalez will miss their scheduled starts this weekend. Manager Dusty Baker decided to give Scherzer at least an extra day rather than have him pitch Sunday after the right-hander exited Tuesday’s game against Florida because of neck spasms. Gonzalez won’t pitch Saturday with his wife expects to give birth to their second child within the next few days. … Baker said RHP Stephen Strasburg (elbow) is getting better, but Baker did not say when he will make his next start. … The Nationals placed LHP Enny Romero on the 10-daydDL on Friday because of forearm tightness.
Cubs: SS Addison Russell was placed on the 10-day DL on Friday because of a strained right foot. The Cubs recalled LHP Rob Zastryzny from Triple-A Iowa.
Cubs RHP John Lackey (8-9, 4.87 ERA) looks to improve to 4-0 since the All-Star break when he starts Saturday, while RHP Edwin Jackson (2-1, 2.84) gets the ball for Washington in Gonzalez’s place.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.