Nico Hoerner's solo homer opened the door to a four-run seventh inning as the Chicago Cubs rallied for a 4-2 victory over the visiting Washington Nationals on Wednesday.
With Chicago down 2-0 in the seventh, Hoerner (2-for-4) drove a Josiah Gray pitch into the left-field seats to open the frame. Nick Madrigal (2-for-3) eventually tied the game with a single off ex-Cub Steve Cishek (1-3), and Chicago went ahead on Rafael Ortega's sacrifice fly.
Ian Happ's RBI single against Carl Edwards Jr. added some insurance later in the frame for Chicago, which took two of three from the Nationals for a third straight winning home series.
Meanwhile, Chicago starter Justin Steele yielded two runs on eight hits, striking out nine without a walk over six innings. The Cubs, though, have now failed to score a run in the last three games that Steele was still in the game.
Gray allowed his major-league leading 29th homer and two runs total. He gave up seven hits in 6 1/3 innings while striking out five without a walk during his best outing since giving up two runs in seven innings at Texas on June 25.
Rookie Joey Meneses homered in his third consecutive game, but Washington went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position on the day and lost for the 11th time in 14 contests.
Washington opened the scoring in the third inning when Cesar Hernandez's second hit of the day got past a sliding Ortega in center, bringing Tres Barrera home from first base with two outs.
The game's next run didn't come until the sixth, when Meneses went deep into the left-center field bleachers for his fourth home run and sixth RBI in seven career major league contests.
Michael Rucker (1-1) pitched a scoreless seventh to earn the victory. Meanwhile, Rowan Wick went 1 1/3 innings to record his career-high sixth save.
Recently released by Cleveland, Franmil Reyes added two more hits in his second game since Chicago picked him up
--Field Level Media