Murphy hits 2 homers, Nationals beat Cubs 4-2

Murphy hits 2 homers, Nationals beat Cubs 4-2

Murphy hit two home runs to back Tanner Roark, and the Washington Nationals won the opener of a series between division leaders by beating the Chicago Cubs 4-2 on a chilly Friday afternoon.

Counting the postseason, Murphy is 20 for 38 with four home runs in his past 10 games at Wrigley. The righthander allowed five hits while improving to 3-1 in his past four starts. He has pitched to a 4.99 FIP with 21 strikeouts across 27 innings.

"A curveball maybe a little up", Hendricks said of the first homer by Murphy, who was the 2015 NLCS MVP when the Mets swept the Cubs. Hendricks hadn't gone more than five innings in his previous two starts. He's now allowed two runs without issuing a walk over 9 1/3 innings since returning from the disabled list, a good sign for the Cubs and Hendricks, even if he doesn't have the wins to show for it. "He threw a slider over the plate and I got to it pretty good".

Baez's 15 homers this season are a career-high for him. Votto had a pair of RBI hits off Mike Leake (7-10), who fell to 0-5 in eight career starts against his former team.

Roark held the Cubbies off the scoreboard for the first six innings before he gave up a Kyle Schwarber double and Javier Baez home run in the seventh.

Ryan Madson worked the bottom half, and Sean Doolittle finished for his fifth save in as many chances since he was acquired from Oakland on July 16.

Anthony Rendon hit a sacrifice fly against Carl Edwards Jr.in the eighth. Manager Dusty Baker told reporters Edwin Jackson and Erick Fedde will both get starts against the Cubs as Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer are both dealing with injuries. Gonzalez won't pitch Saturday with his wife expects to give birth to their second child within the next few days.

Nationals: Two-time Cy Young Award victor Max Scherzer and Gio Gonzalez will miss their scheduled starts this weekend.


An All-Star last season, Russell is batting.241 with 10 homers and 36 RBIs.

Chicago placed SS Addison Russell (right foot strain) on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to August 2 and put Javier Baez in his infield spot. Romero left Wednesday's game against Miami.

Jan and Michael Crawford celebrated their Golden Anniversary today at Wrigley Field, where they spend their honeymoon 50 years ago.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon would like to see more night games at Wrigley and day baseball mostly limited to Saturdays and Sundays.

Russell also has been bothered at times by shoulder pain. On the other side, the Cubs are 0-4 in Hendrick's last four starts during the first game of a series and have dropped eight of their last 11 home games versus a right-handed starter.

"They're only here for a couple days", Maddon said.

According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetDSI, the Cubs are -146 money line favorites to beat the Nationals, who have odds of +136 to pull off the upset in Chicago.

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