EditorsNote: Tweaks in lede, 10th and 11th grafs
Ryan Zimmerman bombed Jon Lester for the 21st multi-homer game of his career Saturday afternoon, powering the Washington Nationals to a 9-4 victory over the Cubs in Chicago.
Zimmerman connected on a two-run shot in the first inning and a three-run homer in the fourth, mixing in a sacrifice fly in the third inning for a career-high-tying six RBIs.
He also totaled six RBIs in a game against Colorado in 2010.
Lester (12-5) was torched for nine runs (eight earned) in just 3 2/3 innings. He allowed 10 hits and one walk, striking out five.
The nine runs allowed were his most of the season. He’d given up nine or more four times previously in his career.
The onslaught started early. After Bryce Harper singled with two outs in the top of the first, Zimmerman connected for his eighth homer of the season and a 2-0 lead.
The teams traded runs in the third before Daniel Murphy followed a leadoff single by Mark Reynolds in the fourth with his fifth home run of the season, a two-run blast that increased the Washington lead to 5-1.
Trea Turner made it a three-run inning with an RBI single with two outs, after which Harper singled and Zimmerman homered again, his ninth, for a 9-1 advantage.
Nationals starter Tanner Roark (7-12) pitched two outs into the eighth inning, limiting the Cubs to two runs on nine hits. He walked one and struck out seven.
Down 9-2, the Cubs rallied for two runs in the ninth on a two-run double by Ben Zobrist, but got no closer.
Murphy and Matt Wieters had three hits apiece for the Nationals, who were beaten 3-2 in the series opener on Friday afternoon.
Zimmerman, Harper and Turner had two hits and scored twice apiece, while Murphy had two RBIs for Washington, which won for the eighth time in its last 12 games.
Addison Russell collected three hits for the Cubs, who have allowed nine or more runs in three of their last six games.
The Nationals out-hit the Cubs 13-11.
—Field Level Media