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August 20, 2013

Schierholtz powers Cubs past Nats

CHICAGO — Nate Schierholtz thought he could put together a nice season if he found the right place to go when he was a free agent last winter.

He ended up in Chicago, and it’s working out in a big way.

Schierholtz homered twice and drove in a career-high six runs, powering Jeff Samardzija and the Cubs to an 11-1 victory over the Washington Nationals on Monday night.

“I’m just trying to put up good at-bats and help the team out,” Schierholtz said. “Just try not to do too much. Just trying to keep it simple and go out there and have fun.”

Schierholtz connected for a three-run shot in the first and a two-run drive in the seventh in his fourth career multihomer game.

He also had an RBI double in the third in Chicago’s highest-scoring game since a 14-6 victory over Houston on June 23.

He went 3 for 4 while moving into a tie with Anthony Rizzo for the team lead with 18 homers. He also is second only to Rizzo with 58 RBIs.

Not bad for a journeyman outfielder who was non-tendered by Philadelphia after last season and agreed to a one-year deal with Chicago in late December.

’I’d like to be part of the future here,” said Schierholtz, who feared he might be traded before last month’s non-waiver deadline. “I’m happy I’m not out of here.”

Donnie Murphy added a pair of solo homers and Dioner Navarro had a three-run shot for the Cubs, who managed just 12 runs total in their previous eight home games.

It was more than enough for Samardzija (7-11), who pitched a six-hitter for his second complete game of the season and No. 3 for his career. He struck out five and walked none in his first victory in a month.

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