The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Sports

June 30, 2014

Nationals sweep Cubs on Saturday

CHICAGO (AP) — The Washington Nationals hit the halfway point of the season tied with Atlanta for the NL East lead.

Adam LaRoche will take that.

“I like our position in the standings and I like how our team is playing,” LaRoche said after Washington swept a day-night doubleheader from the Cubs on Saturday.

LaRoche and Wilson Ramos homered, Blake Treinen earned his first major league win and the Nationals beat Chicago 7-2 in a rainy nightcap.

Gio Gonzalez pitched two-hit ball over seven innings in the opener for a 3-0 victory.

In the second game, Washington tagged Jeff Samardzija (2-7) for six runs over five innings to salvage a four-game series split.

LaRoche led off the second with a long drive to right for his 11th homer, and Ramos connected to start the fifth, sparking a four-run rally that made it 6-2.

Making his fifth major league start, Treinen (1-3) allowed two runs and four hits in five innings. The right-hander was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse as the 26th man on the roster for the doubleheader.

“It means a lot,” he said about the win. “I’m definitely excited, that’s for sure.”

Ross Detwiler pitched three perfect innings for his first career save.

The only runs for the Cubs came on a two-run homer by Luis Valbuena that tied it at 2 in the fourth, right about when the rain started falling.

With two outs in the inning and Nate Schierholtz batting, play was stopped for 55 minutes.

Once the game resumed, it didn’t take long for the Nationals to regain the lead.

Ramos connected on the first pitch of the fifth for his second homer, and Washington sent up nine batters in the inning.

With two outs and a man on first, three straight singles by Anthony Rendon, Kevin Frandsen and Jayson Werth resulted in two more runs. First baseman Anthony Rizzo then let LaRoche’s hard smash get by him for an error, bringing in Frandsen to make it 6-2.

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