CHICAGO (AP) — Washington Nationals starter Tanner Roark always will have good memories of his debut at Wrigley Field. His second visit, not so much.
Roark (7-5) allowed four runs on 10 hits and one walk over six innings in a 7-2 setback in front of several friends and family members, as the Cubs snapped his personal streak of four consecutive victories on Friday. The loss took place 10 months after the University of Illinois product was credited for a victory in relief at Wrigley Field, the first appearance of his career there.
“I pitched here last year, so I got all the jitters out when I saw everybody and (heard) everybody chanting my name out there in the bleachers,” Roark said. “I got them all out then.”
Nine of the 10 hits Roark gave up were singles, including a half-dozen by the last four batters in the order.
“I was base hit to death,” he said. “They were squaring the ball up and hitting it right through the holes, so you know, there’s nothing you can do about it. I get them again I believe on the Fourth of July, so I’ll come back out and go get ‘em then.”
The Nationals took the first two games of the four-game set.
“The last couple of days with Doug (Fister) and Tanner, they’ve put together some long at-bats,” Washington manager Matt Williams said. “In that one long (fourth) inning for Tanner today and a couple long innings for Doug last night, they were grinding out at-bats on ‘em. It’s a credit to their hitters, too. We didn’t get it done again today, but we get two (games) tomorrow to think about it.”
Catcher John Baker had three hits, a walk and four RBIs, while batterymate Jason Hammel continued his dominance of the Nationals with 6 1-3 innings of two-run ball.
“(The players) have been developing a personality as a team,” Cubs skipper Rick Renteria said. “They’re having fun and getting to know each other, doing whatever it takes to play the game (the right way).”
A .160 hitter at game time, Baker capped his big day with a bases-loaded, three-run double off reliever Jerry Blevins in the seventh inning. The four RBIs doubled his season total to eight. He also had four RBIs against the Nationals on Sept. 4, 2009, in Washington. Chris Coghlan, Justin Ruggiano and Ryan Sweeney each had a pair of hits in the 13-hit attack.
After Adam LaRoche launched a solo homer to right field that tied the score at 2-all in the fourth inning, Hammel mowed down the next 10 batters before Wilson Ramos singles with one out in the seventh inning. Reliever Brian Schlitter entered the game and induced Ian Desmond to bounce into an inning-ending double play.
The Cubs never looked back after Sweeney’s two-out, two-run single gave them a 4-2 lead in the fourth inning.
NOTES: Cubs OF Junior Lake was cleared by team physicians but did not play. He reluctantly left the series opener the previous night after a head-first collision with a steel door in right-center field. President of baseball operations Theo Epstein said the organization would look into padding the doors for safety. … Each team plans to use its so-called 26th man in the day-night doubleheader on Saturday — rookie Dallas Beeler (0-0) for the Cubs in the opener and Blake Treinen (0-3) for the Nationals in the nightcap. Gio Gonzalez (4-4) will open for the visitors in the afternoon contest, while Jeff Samardzija (2-6) will get the ball for the home team in the second game. The Nationals are expected to promote LHP Xavier Cedeno from Triple-A Syracuse for the twin bill, while RHP Taylor Hill will move down to create a roster spot. … The Nationals are hoping that OF Bryce Harper (left thumb surgery) will return to the parent club early next week.
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