National League Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, June 27 (All times Eastern)
Washington Nationals (41-37) at Chicago Cubs (33-44), 4:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Washington - Tanner Roark (7-4, 2.79) Chicago - Jason Hammel (6-5, 2.99)
(SportsNetwork.com) - Tanner Roark carries a four-start winning streak into this afternoon's contest for the Washington Nationals against the Chicago Cubs.
Even though this is a road start, Roark should get plenty of crowd support.
The 27-year-old right-hander, who was born and raised in Wilmington, Illinois will become the first University of Illinois alum to get a starting nod at Wrigley Field since Pittsburgh's John Ericks on Sept. 22, 1995.
Roark has allowed two earned runs or less in all but one of his last nine starts. He's given up just one in each of his previous two outings. That includes home triumphs over Houston and Atlanta in the last two, both at Nationals Park. His only road loss of the season came May 3 at Philadelphia.
The only previous time Roark faced the Cubs he struggled, but managed to win despite allowing four hits and a pair of runs over 1 2/3 innings of a relief appearance on Aug. 21, 2013 at Wrigley Field. The Nationals posted an 11-6 win.
Jason Hammel, who has never lost to the Nationals, counters for the Cubs in the second portion of this four-game series. Hammel is 0-2 over his last four starts overall, having given up 31 hits and 10 runs in that span, covering 25 innings.
In eight career starts against the Nationals, Hammel is 6-0 with a 3.15 ERA.
Last night, Justin Ruggiano's two-run double in the seventh inning gave the Cubs a 5-3 win. Starlin Castro also drove in two runs while Anthony Rizzo was 3-for-4 with a run scored for the Cubs, who had lost four of five coming into the game.
Travis Wood gave up three runs on seven hits with five walks and four strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings. Neil Ramirez (1-1) got his first career win for recording the final out of the seventh.
"It was fortunate for us tonight Ruggiano came through. We came through with the bats," Wood said.
Denard Span drove in two and Anthony Rendon brought home the other run for the Nationals, who have dropped their past two after winning four straight.
Doug Fister allowed three runs on seven hits in six innings, while Craig Stammen (0-3) was handed the loss for giving up two runs in two innings of relief.
"I didn't execute a couple of pitches, got them in the middle of the plate, up in the zone," Fister said. "They capitalized on it."
The Cubs have won seven of their last eight games when facing NL East teams at Wrigley Field.
Washington won four of the seven meetings last season. The clubs will meet in the nation's capital July 4-6. The Cubs have not won a season series against the Nationals since going 4-2 in 2010.
This series concludes with a scheduled day/night doubleheader on Saturday. In a major league rarity, there will be no contest on Sunday for these clubs. Sunday's scheduled contest was moved up a day in consideration of neighborhood traffic and congestion in connection with the annual Pride Parade in Chicago on Sunday.
06/27 10:50:21 ET