Cubs 2, Nationals 1

David Driver, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

WASHINGTON -- Alfonso Soriano stole third and came in to score on a throwing error by Washington catcher Kurt Suzuki in the top of the ninth inning as the Chicago Cubs beat the Washington Nationals 2-1 on Sunday.
Rafael Soriano (0-1), the Washington closer, came on to start the ninth with the score tied 1-1 and gave up a leadoff single by Soriano. Julio Borbon pinch-hit for the Cubs and singled to center before Ryan Sweeney fanned for the first out.
With Welington Castillo at the plate, the runners took off and the throw by Suzuki was not even close to third baseman Ryan Zimmerman as Soriano came in to score as the ball rolled into foul territory down the left-field line.
Kevin Gregg came on to pitch in the last of the ninth for the Cubs. He fanned Suzuki looking for the second out and the Nats' catcher was ejected for arguing the call by home plate umpire John Tumpane. Gregg then got the final out for the save as he fanned Roger Bernadina for the last out.
Washington starter Gio Gonzalez allowed two hits and no runs in seven innings before he was lifted for pinch-hitter Chad Tracy in the last of the seventh. Gonzalez had six strikeouts with three walks and threw 86 pitches.
The Nationals turned the game over in the eighth to reliever Drew Storen, who gave up a two-out RBI single to Starlin Castro to tie the score at 1. Cody Ransom followed with a single to left, but Anthony Rizzo was retired on a hard grounder to second to end the eighth.
Scott Feldman, the Cubs starter, allowed one run and five hits in six innings before Kyuji Fujikawa came on to pitch a scoreless seventh.
James Russell (1-0) pitched the eighth for the Cubs and retired Ian Desmond on a long fly to Sweeney in right to end a scoreless inning.
The Cubs (15-22) won the series two games to one and the Nationals (20-17) lost for just the fourth time in 11 games.
Zimmerman, who made two errors Saturday, had an RBI double in the bottom of the first to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead. His hit scored Denard Span, who led off with a double. Feldman escaped further damage when he got Danny Espinosa to fly out to left for the final out with the bases loaded.
The Nationals also left one runner on base in the second and third.
Gonzalez retired the first 15 batters before Navarro beat out an infield single in the hole at short to lead off the sixth. Gonzalez then walked Castro with two outs and Cody Ransom followed with a solid single to left to load the bases. But Rizzo, who had three hits on Saturday, grounded out to first to end the threat.
Gonzalez entered the game with a 3-2 record and 4.97 ERA. In his first 38 innings prior to Sunday, he gave up 31 hits with 20 walks and 41 strikeouts.
Gonzalez went at least seven innings in just one of his previous seven starts. He made his Washington debut on April 7 at Wrigley Field and won that game 7-4. In his last outing against the Cubs, he pitched seven scoreless innings for a win on Sept. 5 in Washington.
NOTES: Washington outfielder Bryce Harper, who missed the past two games with an ingrown toenail problem, started in left and batted third. ... Washington begins a West Coast trip Monday at the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cubs return home to play Colorado. ... X-rays were negative on Cubs infielder Luis Valbuena's pinky finger after he slid into third base on Saturday. He was not in the starting lineup. He started at third on Saturday but came out in the fifth inning. ... Feldman, who pitched for Texas last year, began the game with a 2.70 ERA. He had a decision in each of his first six starts. ... Zimmerman wore pink cleats in honor of Mother's Day. His mother, Cheryl, was diagnosed with MS in 1995 and Zimmerman will sponsor a fund-raiser at Nationals Park on May 23 to fight the disease. ... The first 11 Cubs were retired Saturday by Stephen Strasburg, but he allowed four unearned runs in the fifth.

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