May 18, 2019 / 3:40 AM / 2 months ago

Bryant bashes three homers as Cubs rout Nats

EditorsNote: Removes possessive from Dozier in last graph; clarifies at-bat during balk, runner out at home; other minor edits

May 17, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner (7) forces out Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant (17) and throws to first to complete a double play during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago’s Kris Bryant slugged three home runs and drove in five runs, and the Cubs hit six homers in a 14-6 rout of the host Washington Nationals on Friday.

Bryant clubbed his third homer — and fourth hit — in the ninth inning. He went deep in each of the final three frames, joining Sammy Sosa (2002) as the only Cubs players to homer three innings in a row.

Bryant, 27, also had a three-homer game in Cincinnati on June 27, 2016.

Cole Hamels (4-0) tossed five innings of two-run ball as the Cubs broke a two-game losing streak behind an 18-hit attack.

Bryant went 4-for-6, Willson Contreras had four hits including a two-run homer, Albert Almora Jr. and Kyle Schwarber hit two-run blasts, and Javier Baez extended his career-high hitting streak to 15 games with two hits.

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo returned to the lineup after missing four games due to back stiffness. He went 1-for-5.

Washington’s Anthony Rendon popped a two-run homer, and Trea Turner finished 2-for-5 with a stolen base in his return after a 39-game absence caused by a broken finger.

Brian Dozier had three hits and two RBIs for Washington.

Nationals starter Max Scherzer (2-5) wasn’t sharp, giving up three runs in six innings.

Scherzer tried to get out of a first-inning jam after Schwarber worked a four-pitch walk and Bryant hit a single — his 26th consecutive game reaching base — but Baez stroked a two-out double for his first career hit off Scherzer and a 1-0 lead.

In the second, Almora launched an 0-2 changeup by Scherzer deep into the left field seats for his fourth homer — a 445-foot rocket. It scored Jason Heyward, who broke an 0-for-22 slump with a single to center, for a 3-0 lead.

Rendon notched his seventh long ball to trim the deficit to 3-2 in the home half of the third.

Bryant’s ninth homer to left-center off reliever Justin Miller made it 5-2 in the seventh.

Kurt Suzuki brought the deficit to 5-3 with an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh, and reliever Carl Edwards Jr.’s balk with Gerardo Parra up to bat scored Suzuki and advanced Dozier to third.

However, an errant pitch by Edwards later in the at-bat bounced in front of home plate, and the pitcher retrieved the ball and forced Dozier out of the baseline for the final out of the inning.

Chicago blew the game open in a five-run eighth inning.

Schwarber ended a 13-pitch at-bat with his sixth homer with Almora on base, and Bryant followed with a solo shot.

Slideshow (5 Images)

Mark Zagunis had an RBI single, and another run scored on a Turner throwing error.

Bryant’s and Contreras’ homers highlighted a four-run ninth. The Nationals got two back in the bottom of the ninth on a Dozier double.

—Field Level Media

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