Ruggiano, Cubs down Nationals
Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Justin Ruggiano's two-run double in the seventh inning gave the Chicago Cubs a 5-3 win over the Washington Nationals in the opener of a four-game series.
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.
"I kind of spaced out there for a bit and gave up too many walks," said Wood. "The guys really had my back tonight."
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.
"They battled well tonight, but I didn't execute some of my pitches," said Fister. "They took advantage of it and were able to produce some runs off that."
The Nationals had tied the game with a two-run top of the seventh, but the Cubs got a one-out double from Darwin Barney and Chris Coghlan followed with a walk in the home seventh. A fielder's choice from Ryan Sweeney left runners at the corners, and Ruggiano came through with a double to left for a 5-3 lead.
Pedro Strop faced the minimum in the eighth while Hector Rondon pitched a flawless ninth for his ninth save of the season.
Chicago took a 3-0 lead in the fourth as Castro brought home two with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Welington Castillo's single.
Span doubled to start the sixth and scored on Rendon's single, and the Nationals tied the game in the seventh on a two-run double from Span.
The Nationals took four of seven from the Cubs last season ... Tanner Roark pitches for Washington on Friday, while Jason Hammel takes the hill for Chicago.
06/27 01:27:05 ET