WASHINGTON -- Cubs' starting pitcher Edwin Jackson
returned to Washington and excelled on the mound and in the batter's box as he beat the Nationals 8-2 on Saturday.
The Nationals (20-16) saw their season-high five-game winning streak come to an end while the Cubs (14-22) won for just the second time in their last 10 games at Nationals Park.
The Cubs took a 2-0 lead in the fifth when Jackson hit a two-out, two-run double to right-center against Washington starter Stephen Strasburg (1-5), who lasted just five innings and gave up four runs, all unearned in the fifth.
It was the first hit in 12 at bats this season for Jackson, a starter for the Nationals last season who began the game with a lifetime average of .188.
The Cubs then loaded the bases after Jackson's hit on a walk to David DeJesus and an infield single by Starlin Castro. Anthony Rizzo
(three hits) followed with a single past Strasburg into center to score two runs and give the Cubs a 4-0 lead.
Jackson (1-5) lasted 5 and 1/3 innings on the mound and left with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth. He was replaced by Shawn Camp, a product of nearby George Mason University.
Camp gave up a single to Ian Desmond
as the Nationals cut the lead to 8-2. Danny Espinosa then struck out and Tyler Moore grounded into a fielder's choice to end the sixth.
The Cubs had taken a 5-1 lead in the top sixth on a wild pitch by reliever Zach Duke and Cody Ransom, in his first at bat of the day off the bench, doubled in a run to make it 6-1. DeJesus then drove in two runs with a single to make it 8-1 against Duke, who gave up four earned runs in 2/3 of an inning.
Desmond had hit a solo homer in the fifth to pull Washington to within 4-1.
The fifth inning, even with the double by Jackson, could have been even bigger for the Cubs.
Luis Valbuena hit a double down the right field line with one out against Strasburg but was retired at third as he tried to stretch the hit into a triple against right fielder Roger Bernadina.
Wellington Castillo then reached on a throwing error by Washington third baseman Ryan Zimmerman -- his first of two errors. No. 8 hitter Darwin Barney drew a walk and Jackson laced a 2-2 pitch in the gap and up against the wall for two unearned runs.
Strasburg gave up five hits with seven strikeouts and two walks. He threw 95 pitches and gave way to Duke, who came on in the sixth. Strasburg retired the first 11 batters -- six by strikeout -- before Rizzo lined a single to center with two outs in the fourth.
Jackson joked Friday about having to bat against the 98 miles-per-hour fastballs of Strasburg and before Friday's game Jackson made the rounds to greet former teammates.
"It will be a lot of fun," Jackson said of facing Washington. "Once the game starts I am trying hard."
Jackson entered the game with an ERA of 6.39 while Strasburg began the day at 3.45.
NOTES: Before the game the Nationals placed right fielder Jayson Werth on the DL, retroactive to May 3, with a right hamstring strain and recalled outfielder Eury Perez from Triple-A Syracuse. Perez, a September callup last year, is hitting .346 in 107 at bats with Syracuse while Werth is hitting .260 in 100 at bats with Washington. Perez took over in center for Denard Span late in the game. ... Nats' outfielder Bryce Harper was out of the starting lineup for the second game in a row due to the effects of surgery on an ingrown toenail. ... Cubs' starter Jackson won 10 games last year for Washington before signing with Chicago as a free agent prior to this season. ... Washington shortstop Desmond has six homers this year and Saturday was the first time the Nats did not win a game in which he went deep. ... The Cubs are in the midst of the only games they will play away from home in a 19-game streak.
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