CHICAGO (AP) — Ryan Zimmerman hit two home runs off a shaky Jon Lester and tied a career high with six RBIs, sending the Washington Nationals over the Chicago Cubs 9-4 on Saturday.
Zimmerman hit a two-run homer in the first inning, had a sacrifice fly to the warning track in the third and chased Lester with a three-run drive in the fourth that made it 9-1. He is batting .355 (16 for 45) with four homers and 16 RBIs in 14 games since returning from the disabled list last month.READ MORE: Chicago Police Issue Alert Of Armed Robberies In Lincoln Park And Lake View
Daniel Murphy also homered and had three hits, helping Tanner Roark (7-12) win his fourth straight start.
Lester (12-5) was tagged for eight earned runs and 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings. The left-hander is winless in his last five starts for the NL Central leaders, going 0-3 with a 10.32 ERA during that span.
Anthony Rizzo got his 1,000th career hit for the Cubs. Ben Zobrist drove in two runs and Addison Russell had three hits for Chicago.
Roark (7-12) allowed two runs on nine hits in 7 2/3 innings, striking out seven and walking one. The right-hander has allowed four earned runs over 29 2/3 innings during the four-start winning streak.
The native of Wilmington — about 60 miles south of Wrigley Field — is 4-0 with 2.74 ERA in his last five starts against the Cubs.
After Lester retired the first two batters of the game, Bryce Harper singled and Zimmerman homered to center.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Heavy Rain, Possible Flood Watch
Washington broke it open with six runs in the fourth. Murphy had a two-run homer, Trea Turner drove in a run with a single and Zimmerman capped the burst with his ninth home run.
Willson Contreras singled in a run in the eighth on Roark’s 117th and final pitch.
Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (pinched nerve in neck) threw a 64-pitch bullpen on Saturday and said that he “felt really good.” He’s scheduled to throw a simulated game on Wednesday. If all goes well in that, a rehab start likely will be the next step. “We want to make sure when he does get back, he’s going to pitch every five days,” manager Dave Martinez said.
Cubs: 3B Kris Bryant (left shoulder inflammation) took ground balls and a few swings on Saturday, but there is no timetable for his return.
Nationals RHP Max Scherzer (15-5, 2.28 ERA) will try to become the majors’ first 16-game winner in the finale of the series on Sunday night. Scherzer also leads the majors in strikeouts with 216 in 161 2/3 innings. LHP Cole Hamels (7-9, 4.38) makes his third start with the Cubs. He has allowed just one earned in 11 innings during the first two starts.MORE NEWS: Ed's Tech Notes: Walgreens New Drone Delivery, Amazon New Pay Option, Facebook Rumored Rebrand
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