CHICAGO — Nico Hoerner’s homer in the seventh inning ignited a four-game rally as the Chicago Cubs beat strong rookie Joey Menezes 4-2 on Wednesday. and the Washington Nationals.
Hoerner’s seventh homer ended the suspension of Nationals starter Josiah Gray and gave the Cubs just their second win in 51 games as they trailed into the seventh.
“I’ve seen that starter for the third time,” Horner said. “I don’t actually do that much.”
The Cubs have won four of six games in Iowa’s Dream Field game against Cincinnati, and the next game will be the next.
“It’s part of the history of what we’re going to do, and I’m excited to see the setup across the field,” Horner said. “So 8,000 (fans) will feel small, but everyone will be excited.”
Menezes homered for the third straight game for the Nationals, who have lost seven of their eight games.
Menezes, 30, made his major league debut on Aug. 2, becoming the first player in Nationals history to hit four home runs in his first seven games. Danny Espinosa and Geoff Blum hit three home runs each in the first seven MLB games of their careers.
Menezes hit a solo homer in the sixth inning. The first baseman/outfielder also singled and hit .348 in the majors.
“It’s something I’ve been looking for my entire career,” Menezes said. “I’ve worked really hard to get to this point and I want to enjoy every moment of it.”
Gray led 2-0 and allowed five hits before Horner homered. Gray was beaten after Yan Gomez singled out.
Nick Madrigal hits a bench Steve Cishek (1-3) and a throw from center fielder Victor Robles makes two The runners enter the scoring position.
Rafael Ortega follows Cishek’s sacrifice and Ian Happ wraps up his comeback with Carl Edwards Jr.’s RBI single.
“It’s well known that (Roberts) can use electric there,” said Nationals manager Dave Martinez. “But again, it’s the little things. Knowing the game, in a situation like this, he knows what he needs to do before the game happens.
“That’s the most important thing: think before the ball hits you and understand what you need to do if it hits you.”
Robles gave the Nationals a lead on a diving catch in the fifth inning.
Michael Rooker (1-1) went scoreless in Game 7 to win his first major league title. Rowanwick first beat Michael Franco in a tie to end the eighth game and made his sixth save in eight chances.
The Nationals took a 1-0 lead when Ortega jumped on a straight drive from Cesar Hernandez to get a double at center, scoring Tres Barrera from the start. There were two outs in the third quarter.
Cubs left pitcher Justin Steele suffered from a lack of support despite hitting nine in six innings and not moving. He has 25 strikeouts and two runs over the past three games.
Steele knocked out Barrera and finished the fourth inning with a full base.
“For him, it’s all about him being in the zone, in the offense,” Cubs manager David Rose said. “He has a good sense of what’s broken. It feels like he’s moving more consistently to the sides of the plate.”
Ross wants more international games
Rose played in the Australian Baseball League and Mexico City as a minor league player for the Dodgers, and was an announcer for the 2019 MLB Minor League Classic on ESPN
Rose wanted to play in the series in Japan, the Cubs against the Mets in the 2000 season, as well as Puerto Rico and Cuba.
“It’s about the diversity of our games,” Ross said.
Friday’s series opener against the Padres marked the return of All-Stars RF Juan Soto and 1B Josh Bell to Nationals Park after they were traded for six players on Aug. 2. Martinez, who managed Soto’s 4 1/2 seasons, joked about his plans to pitch to Soto.
“We’re going to walk him,” Martinez said. “We’ll have a game plan. He has one of the best eyes I’ve ever seen for a young hitter in the majors.”
Nationals: RHP Mason Thompson was drafted to Triple-A Rochester, presumably to make room for LHP Jake McGee, who waived waivers claimed by the Brewers.
Nationals: SS Luis Garcia (right knee soreness) was crossed out of the starting lineup. … DH Nelson Cruz (right shoulder soreness) came up as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning and singled. … RHP Tyler Clippard (groin strain) pitched two innings for Triple-A Rochester on Tuesday night and was activated as early as Friday, Martinez said. … RHP Erick Fedde (inflamed right shoulder) had an extended bullpen workout on Tuesday and is likely to return to the rotation with a mock game next week. … RHP Will Harris (thoracic outlet syndrome) suffered a groin injury during his rehab assignment and will be sidelined indefinitely, Martinez said.
The Nationals will send RHP Cory Abbott (0-1, 5.68) to the Mound against the Padres on Friday. Abbott dropped seven points in 3 2/3 innings in Sunday’s 13-1 loss to the Phillies.
The Cubs will start LHP Drew Smyly (4-6, 3.97) on Thursday against the Reds at Fantasy Field in Daysville, Iowa. Smiley pitched 6 2/3 innings against the Marlins on Saturday.
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