Javier Baez collected three RBI and hit his 31st home run of the season, and Victor Caratini hit an RBI single as the Chicago Cubs beat the Washington Nationals 4-3 in an extra-inning game Thursday night.
The Cubs extended their division lead to one and a half games over the Milwaukee Brewers, but it came at a cost as the team also lost closer Pedro Strop to a hamstring injury.
Mike Montgomery gave up two earned runs in four innings of work, and the team’s bullpen held Washington to one run over the final six innings of the victory.
Spencer Kieboom hit a home run for the Nationals, and Trea Turner and Victor Robles also drove in runs in the losing effort.
The game, a make-up contest after the Cubs and Nationals were rained out Sunday, began inauspiciously for the Cubs as they gave up a home run to Kieboom to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead. Baez then tied things up in the very next inning with an RBI double, and Caratini drove him in to give the Cubs a 2-1 edge.
The Nationals tied things up in the fifth with a Robles sacrifice fly, but the Cubs responded again in the sixth as Baez hit a home run over the right field wall.
Turner tied the game in the bottom of the seventh with a double off the left field wall, driving in Robles, and the game went to extra innings as both bullpens held.
In the tenth, the Cubs had runners on first and third when Baez dropped down a bunt single, driving in Kris Bryant to give his team the lead. Unfortunately for the Cubs, the mood turned sour as Strop was injured while running to first base on a double play.
Randy Rosario finished off the save, the first of his big league career.
The Cubs will now head home to take on the Cincinnati Reds in a three-game series at Wrigley Field, which will begin on Friday night.