WASHINGTON – Ryan Zimmerman delivered a two-run double after Bryce Harper was intentionally walked in the fourth inning, and the Washington Nationals beat the Chicago White Sox 7-4 on a windy Thursday night to cap a three-game sweep.
Dan Haren (1-1) got the win despite allowing 10 hits in five innings.
With the score tied at 3 in the fourth, Haren helped himself by doubling off Dylan Axelrod (0-1) and eventually scoring on a wild pitch with two outs. Chicago then put Harper on base on purpose, but the move didn’t work: Cleanup hitter Zimmerman lined a double to right on Axelrod’s 103rd — and final — pitch of the evening.
That put Washington ahead 6-3, and relievers Ryan Mattheus, Tyler Clippard and Rafael Soriano made it hold up.
After Harper drove in an insurance run in the eighth, Soriano pitched the ninth for his fifth save in six chances, and third this series.
Washington, 6-0 at home and 7-2 overall, opens a three-game set Friday against visiting NL East rival Atlanta. The Braves are on a six-game winning streak and own a major league-best 8-1 record. It’s their best start since opening 13-1 in 1994.
Prior to the game, the White Sox announced that second baseman Gordon Beckham could be lost for up to six weeks because of a fractured hamate bone in his left wrist. Beckham, who was batting .316, said he will undergo surgery early next week.
TIGERS 11, BLUE JAYS 1: Miguel Cabrera tripled, scored twice and even stole a base, and host Detroit knocked Josh Johnson out of the game with a five-run second inning.
Doug Fister (2-0) allowed a run and eight hits in eight innings for Detroit. Johnson (0-1) allowed six runs and seven hits in 11/3 innings — the shortest start of his career.
Prince Fielder had four RBIs and Torii Hunter added three for the Tigers.
YANKEES-INDIANS: Postponed because of rain.
GIANTS 7, CUBS 5: Pablo Sandoval hit a two-run double in a four-run fourth inning and San Francisco rallied from an early five-run deficit to beat host Chicago.
Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong walked with the bases loaded to tie it in the fifth and Angel Pagan followed with a sacrifice fly, helping the World Series champion Giants win their fourth in a row.
Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro’s fielding error with two outs in the fourth allowed the first run to score. Scott Feldman (0-2) then gave up an RBI single to Pagan and hit Crawford with a pitch ahead of Sandoval’s double.
Vogelsong (1-1) yielded eight hits and five runs in the first three innings for San Francisco.