Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 5/9/13
After a rough 2 1/2-week stretch, the Washington Nationals have picked up the pace thanks in part to a dominant bullpen. The Chicago Cubs, meanwhile, can't seem to solve their late-inning woes. The Nationals try to extend their season-high winning streak to five when they open a three-game set against the visiting Cubs on Friday night. After dropping 12 of 18 from April 12-30, Washington (19-15) has gone 6-1 this month following a rain-shortened two-game sweep of Detroit. Relievers Ryan Mattheus, Drew Storen and Rafael Soriano combined for three scoreless innings during Thursday's 5-4 victory. The Nationals' bullpen has been superb in May, throwing 15 shutout innings while allowing just 12 baserunners and striking out 11. Soriano, among the major league leaders with 12 saves, hasn't allowed a run in his last 12 innings, and Craig Stammen has thrown 9 2-3 straight scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts. The Cubs (13-21), in contrast, saw their relief corps let another win slip aw...
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