Infield hit to lead off sixth
Spoils Wang's no hitter
The Cubs have now lost 2 straight after a 7-game winning streak, struggling on Tuesday night to get hits against Chien-Ming Wang:
Nationals starter Chien-Ming Wang shut down the Cubs on one hit over six innings, holding them hitless until Tony Campana led off the sixth with a pinch-hit, infield single. The Cubs finally broke through in the eighth when Starlin Castro hit a home run to right-center off Tyler Clippard, his third in six games after hitting only three in his previous 107 games.
That kept the Cubs streak alive at seven straight games with a home run, their longest since a nine-game streak from July 27-Aug. 4, 2009. Otherwise, the Cubs offense looked lifeless against Wang, who was making only his third start in 2011 after sitting out 2010 following shoulder surgery.
It was another hard luck start for Matt Garza:
Garza held the Nationals scoreless for the first five innings, but wilted during a three-run sixth, earning his ninth loss in 14 decisions. He wound up allowing three runs over six innings while striking out nine, and now has won only one of his last eight starts.
Though he has kept his cool during the prolonged stretch without run support, Garza has had to be near perfect in every outing since the start of July. In those last eight starts dating back to July 2 against the White Sox, the Cubs have scored 0, 0, 2, 2, 3, 1, 1 and 0 runs, respectively, when Garza was still on the mound.
Garza had given up only three hits through 5 1/3 innings before Michael Morse cranked a homer over the top of the batter's eye in center field. Jayson Werth followed with a sharp single, before Jonny Gomes lofted a two-run homer into the first row of the left-field bleachers to extend the Nationals' lead to 3-0.