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Cubs fall short against Nationals 11-6

Thursday - 8/22/2013, 1:18am  ET

Chicago Cubs' Anthony Rizzo watches his two-run home run off Washington Nationals starting pitcher Ross Ohlendorf during the fifth inning of a baseball game on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

MATT CARLSON
Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) -- The offensively challenged Chicago Cubs got a big night from first baseman Anthony Rizzo and a five-run fifth inning on Wednesday.

But it wasn't enough against the Washington Nationals.

Jayson Werth and Scott Hairston hit three-run homers to lead Washington to an 11-6 win over the Cubs.

Rizzo, hitting second for the first time in his career as part of an altered Cubs lineup, hit his first two homers since Aug. 6 and had three RBIs. But he couldn't stop the Cubs from losing their 15th in their past 18 at home.

"We swung the bats well today," Cubs manager, Dale Sveum said. We outhit them (14-11), but obviously ... you ain't gonna win too many games with two three-run homers in one game."

Werth's three-run homer in the third inning off Jake Arrieta gave the Nationals a 6-1 lead and was his eighth since the All-Star break.

Then Hairston, who was traded by the Cubs on July 8, was pinch-hitting for Tanner Roark and hit his off James Russell (1-4) with two outs in the seventh to give the Nationals a 9-6 lead after the Cubs had rallied to tie the game in the fifth.

Rizzo's second homer of the game, a two run-shot, cut it to 6-3 to start the rally. Then five straight singles and a sac fly tied it.

"It was a big inning," Rizzo said. "Unfortunately we didn't end up on top. That's all that matters, I'd be a lot happier."

Washington's offensive output was a welcome sight for manager Davey Johnson.

"Eleven runs, I think it's Christmas," Johnson said.

Ross Ohlendorf was activated off the disabled list before Wednesday's game by Washington and allowed four runs and six hits and 4 1-3 innings.

Ohlendorf had been on the DL since Aug. 1 with right shoulder inflammation and was making only his third start of the season and didn't get through the fifth, getting replaced one batter after Rizzo's second homer.

"Glad to get back out there. I felt good," Ohlendorf said. "Wish I had pitched deeper into the game for us but our offense did an awesome job."

Werth has been doing pretty well. He went 1 for 3 and has a .452 average in August, and has hit safely in 12 of his past 13 games.

The Nationals built a 6-1 lead on Werth's drive in the third, which came after Ryan Zimmerman singled and Bryce Harper walked. Werth hit a 3-0 pitch into the seats in left for his 18th homer of the season.

Arrieta had been solid in two starts for the Cubs since coming from Baltimore on July 2 as part of the trade for Scott Feldman, allowing one earned run in 13 innings, but struggled Wednesday.

He went four innings and gave up six runs, including three in both the second and third innings.

"I didn't do my job tonight," Arrieta said. "I had enough weapons to pitch deep into the game and get our team a win, and I wasn't able to do that tonight."

The Cubs rallied in the fifth for five runs and a season-high seven hits to tie the game and chase Ohlendorf.

Rizzo hit a towering drive into the right-field bleachers for his second homer of the night, cutting the Washington lead to 6-3.

Starlin Castro reached on a fielder's choice before Rizzo's homer, which gave him his fourth multi-homer game of his career and the second of August, after hitting two against the Dodgers on Aug. 1.

Ohlendorf then allowed Junior Lake to single and was replaced by Roark (3-0), who gave up run-scoring singles to Donnie Murphy and Cole Gillespie, before Welington Castillo's sacrifice fly to center tied the game.

Roark was charged with two runs in the fifth, but pitched 1 2-3 innings for the win.

The second three-run homer didn't come until the seventh, and it came from somebody familiar to Sveum and the Cubs.

With two outs in the seventh, Hairston lined a 1-2 pitch into the seats for his three-run homer and ninth of the season. Russell had gotten the first two outs of the inning before Harper doubled and Werth was intentionally walked.

Since coming to Washington, Hairston had struggled, hitting .200 with no home runs in 19 games. For at least one at-bat, those struggles ended against his former team with his ninth of the season and second as a pinch-hitter.

"It feels really good," Hairston said. "In that situation I wanted to capitalize. There are runners on and early in that at-bat my weight was shifting forward and I just wanted to make sure I stayed back and give myself the best opportunity to get a hit."

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