Werth homer gets Nats going on Fourth of July (Cubs win 7-2)

The Chicago Cubs were able to strike first against Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark.

Chris Coghlan and Justin Ruggiano deposited clean singles onto the Nationals Park outfield grass to open the first. Anthony Rizzo's double-play grounder to Ian Desmond scored Coghlan and the Cubs led 1-0.

Bryce Harper, batting second for the first time the week, flew out to left field in the bottom of the first.

But the next batter, Jayson Werth, absolutely launched a 3-1 pitch from Jason Hammel deep into the left field stands and the game was tied 1-1.

Update: The Cubs are making good contact on Roark's offerings so far.

With one out in the second, Chicago added singles from Nate Schierholtz and John Baker. Following a flyout, Hammel lined a shot up the middle off of Roark and into left field. The hit scored Schierholtz and the Cubs led 2-1. Roark was OK and stayed in the game.

Update II: Ruggiano led off the third with a solo homer, his fourth of the year on a 2-0 Roark offering, and the Cubs extended their advantage to 3-1.

Update III: Coghlan doubled and went to third on a dropped strikeout to begin the fifth for the Cubs. He then scored on a groundout to first base by Rizzo and the Cubs led 4-1.

Update IV: Rendon led off the seventh with a double. Hammel was lifted for reliever Neil Ramirez. One out later, Ramos hit a bloop single over Darwin Barney's head into right-center field that scored Rendon. The Cubs' lead was trimmed to 4-2.

Roark finished seven innings, allowing nine hits, four runs, all earned, and one walk while striking out five on 87 pitches, 61 for strikes. Hammel went six innings plus one batter, allowed two runs, both earned on five hits and two walks while striking out seven. Hammel twirled 92 pitches, 54 for strikes.

Update V: The Cubs added three runs in the ninth. The first run of the inning on a Ruggiano RBI single with the bases loaded. Chicago led 5-2. Castro then smacked a two-run single t make it 7-2 Cubs.

Hammel notches the win to go to 8-5. Roark falls to 7-6. The Nationals five-game win streak is snapped.

Final score: Cubs 7, Nationals 2.

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