Cubs top Nationals on walk-off, 3-2
The wind was blowing out, but Jordan Zimmerman and Kyle Hendricks were able to keep the balls in the yard at Wrigley, for the most part. Bryce Harper launched a fly ball into the jet stream in the seventh, homering to left on a ball that carried, carried and carried some more, after Harper had thrown his bat to the ground in disgust, thinking he’d missed the pitch.
Denard Span hit a line-drive blast to right in the eighth that gave Washington a 2-1 lead, but Chicago slugger Kris Bryant answered in the bottom half of the inning with a towering shot to left-center that would have left the park if not for hitting the top of the new scoreboard.
That tied the game at 2. The Nats had a chance to take a lead in the top of the ninth, getting Yunel Escobar to second with two outs. But Escobar was inexplicably picked off on a 3-2 count with Wilson Ramos at the plate, snuffing out the threat.
Chris Coghlan got things going for the Cubs in the bottom of the ninth with a one-out single. Nats reliever Matt Grace (2-1) got Jonathan Herrera to ground into what looked to be an inning-ending double play, but shortstop Ian Desmond was wild on the throw to first, allowing Herrera to reach base and advance to second.
Russell doubled on a 1-0 changeup from Grace to bring home the winning run.
Zimmerman had been in line for the win before the Bryant homer in the eight off reliever Aaron Barrett. Zimmerman gave up a run on six hits in seven innings of work, striking out five and walking three.
Hendricks had an equally impressive outing for Chicago, giving up a run on four hits in seven innings, striking out four and walking two.
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