Thompson, Velázquez, Morel help Cubs beat Nationals 6-3

CHICAGO — Keegan Thompson pitched six effective innings and rookies Nelson Velazquez and Christopher Morrell homered in the third as the Chicago Cubs beat the Washington Nationals 6-3 on Monday night .

Thompson (9-5) went without a batter for the second time in three innings while spreading five hits in six innings. Luke Voight hit a home run in Thompson’s sixth inning to end Thompson’s bid.

Thompson is 6-2 with a 2.40 ERA in eight starts at Wrigley Field. The Cubs’ starting pitcher has posted a 2.87 ERA and nine quality starts in 19 games since July 16.

Velázquez’s home run highlighted the first triple-hitter of his career.

The Cubs (44-64) won for the third time in four games. The Nationals (36-75) lost their sixth straight game, going 51-20 in that stretch.

Anibal Sanchez (0-5) pitched more than five innings, the longest of a Nationals starter during a losing streak. But Sanchez was pulled down after surrendering singles to Hoshiya Suzuki and Patrick Wisdom to start the sixth. Nico Hoerner then hit reliever Steve Cishek’s first pitch for a single midfielder Suzuki.

Sanchez retired as a top-six hitter, then Velázquez hit a home run against the wind. After the first of two walks to Nick Madrigal, Morrell put two shots into the left field stand. It was his 10th game of the season and his first since July 7 at Dodger Stadium.

Morell, who has a tight right hamstring, made his second start at third base. He made a throwing error to put the runners in second and third with two outs in the seventh, but reliever Michael Rooker struck out Victor Robles to end the threat.

The Cubs capitalized in the bottom of the inning when Willson Contreras hit an RBI single and Suzuki hit a sacrifice fly.

That’s the case when hitter Joey Meneses hit a two-run homer on Cubs’ left-handed reliever Brandon Hughes. became bigger. Hughes had won just once in his previous 13 innings before Menezes’ home run.

Rowanwick pitched a scoreless ninth, making his fifth save in seven chances.


The Cubs claim Franmire Reyes waived the guardian’s waiver, hoping he can regain his power to hit the ball and help a weak offense. Reyes, 27, hit a career-high 37 homers with the Padres and the Guardians in 2019, and had 30 homers and 85 RBIs with the Guardians last season. However, Reyes hit just 0.213 home runs and 28 RBIs in 70 games before being drafted into the Triple-A Columbus Aug. 2 and designated as Saturday’s assignment. “We’ve had him under control for a few years, but we’ve lacked the power department,” said Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer. “All year long, we’ve done a good job of hitting base, but we’ve done a poor job of converting it into a run. Some of it is hitting the ball on the ground, some of it is a lack of power.” Cubs with 106 10th in the NL in home runs.

coach room

Cubs: The Cubs are awaiting MRI results from RHP Kyle Hendricks (right shoulder strain), which could determine whether he pitches again this season. “The most important thing for us is that he’s going to be healthy next year,” Hoyer said. “I’d be happy if he pitched again this year, but I don’t want to push anything to do that.” Hendricks hasn’t pitched since July 5. … LHP Wade Miley (strained left shoulder) is expected to begin a minor league rehab assignment later this week, manager David Rose said.


The Nationals will send RHP Paul Espino (0-4, 4.20) to the Mound against the Cubs on Tuesday night. Espino dropped five points in four innings in Thursday’s 5-4 loss to the Phillies. The Cubs will fight back with RHP Marcus Stroman (3-5, 4.00), who dropped a 3-pointer in 6 2/3 innings in a 4-3 loss to the Cardinals on Thursday.

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