CHICAGO - The whole dramatic late-inning comeback stuff was great while it lasted.
But the Nationals will need to score more runs, and do so early in games, if they're going to compete this season.
Adam LaRoche did his best to get the Nats their third straight come-from-behind win with a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth, but Carlos Marmol closed it out for the Cubs, and Washington's shot at a sweep of the first series of the 2012 season was spoiled by a 4-3 loss.
Chicago starter Jeff Samardzija was spectacular, throwing 8 2/3 innings and allowing three runs, just one of which was earned. The Nats had no answer for his mid-90s fastball and hard slider all afternoon.
In addition to LaRoche's homer, Ian Desmond had two hits for the Nationals, while Wilson Ramos singled and scored a run.
Jordan Zimmermann gets the tough-luck loss, as he went seven innings allowing just two runs (one earned) on six hits with no walks and four strikeouts.
Back with more from the clubhouse in a bit.