Ian Desmond's three hits included a two-run homer and an RBI double, and Danny Espinosa and Kurt Suzuki also drove in runs with doubles, helping the Washington Nationals beat the Chicago Cubs 7-3 for their season-high fifth consecutive victory.
Despite playing without Bryce Harper (ingrown toenail) or Jayson Werth (injured right hamstring), the Nationals won for the seventh time in eight games. Ross Detwiler (2-3) gave up two runs in 6 2-3 innings, and Craig Stammen got the last seven outs.
Chicago's Jeff Samardzija (1-5) lost his fifth decision in a row by allowing seven runs - five earned - and eight hits. He threw 73 pitches in his five innings, matching his shortest outing of the season.
Making his first start in the leadoff slot this season, Chicago's Starlin Castro delivered doubles in each of his first two at-bats, including to begin the game. He came around to make it 1-0 in the first on Anthony Rizzo's groundout.
Suzuki's two-run double off the wall in right-center put ...