Ian Happ homers twice to lead Cubs past Nationals

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Ian Happ went 2-for-4 with two home runs and three RBIs, and the Chicago Cubs posted a 5-2 win over the visiting Washington Nationals on Thursday afternoon.

Joc Pederson and Nick Martini each drove in one run for the Cubs, who have won four of their past five games. Chicago next will head on the road for three games apiece against St. Louis and Pittsburgh.

Josh Bell and Kyle Schwarber hit solo home runs for Washington. Josh Harrison doubled for the only other extra-base hit for the Nationals, who wrapped up a seven-game trip with a 3-4 record.

Cubs left-hander Justin Steele (2-0) earned the win in relief. He struck out three in 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

Nationals right-hander Joe Ross (2-4) took the loss after giving up four runs (two earned) on five hits in 3 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out three.

Craig Kimbrel picked up his ninth save for the Cubs by pitching a scoreless ninth inning.

Washington seized a 2-0 lead in the first on back-to-back, solo homers by Bell and Schwarber. Bell blasted a changeup 388 feet to straightaway center field for his fifth homer of the season, and Schwarber went deep to the opposite field for his seventh homer.

Chicago cut the deficit to 2-1 in the second. David Bote singled to left field, advanced to third on a single by Nico Hoerner, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Martini.

Happ put the Cubs ahead 3-2 with a two-run shot in the third. He pulled a changeup 365 feet down the right-field line.

An RBI single by Pederson in the fourth increased Chicago's lead to 4-2. The hit to center field scored Martini, who had drawn a one-out walk and moved to second on a single by Cubs starting pitcher Trevor Williams.

The Cubs made it 5-2 in the fifth on Happ's second homer of the game and his sixth of the season. He has five homers in his past seven games after hitting one homer in his first 25 games.

Before the game, the Cubs placed outfielder Jason Heyward on the 10-day injured list with a left-hamstring strain.

-Field Level Media