WASHINGTON (AP) — Dansby Swanson hit a two-run homer and Drew Smyly delivered seven solid innings as the Chicago Cubs bounced back from a rough series at Miami to beat the Washington Nationals 5-1 on Monday night.
Swanson went 3-for-5, including a double and his second homer of the season. The 389-foot blast to left-center in the fifth inning made it 4-1 — a welcome advantage for the Cubs, who snapped a three-game skid. All those losses to the Marlins were by one run.
“I’ve been working to just kind of get back to some things I was feeling early in the year that were going good,” Swanson said. “Our staff has been great at being able to kind of diagnose some things for me. Tonight was kind of a continued day of building upon some of the previous days that I thought had gone decent. It’s good to kind of see some results from the work.”
Smyly (3-1) allowed a homer by Lane Thomas in the second inning but cruised from there, throwing just 84 pitches. The left-hander gave up six hits and walked none in his fifth straight start allowing two runs or fewer.
“I thought he pitched his game,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “Just a really nice, Drew-like performance. He’s done a nice job. He’s in a really good space right now, throwing the ball well for us.”
MacKenzie Gore (3-2) allowed a season-high four runs over four-plus innings on seven hits — including three doubles and Swanson’s homer. Seiya Suzuki had an RBI single in the first for Chicago, and Trey Mancini drove in Suzuki with a double.
Gore threw 102 pitches to get 12 outs.
“A lot of his misses today when I go back tonight and watch the game were more over the plate,” manager Dave Martinez said. “He threw some really good pitches down and away for strikes. I think today the balls were more over the white of the plate a lot.”
Yan Gomes left the game in the second inning after getting hit in the head by a backswing from the Nationals’ Jeimer Candelario. He will be reevaluated Tuesday.
“Just paying attention to how he was acting. Some of the things you try to balance with toughness and wanting to be out there, and also he’s been hit a lot lately,” Ross said. “A couple of backswings have gotten him in Florida and then even going back to the Dodgers series. He will get look at by the doctors. We will get him checked out in the morning and we will go from there.”
Ian Happ homered in the ninth for Chicago off Cory Abbott.
Dominic Smith had three of Washington’s six hits. The Nationals, last in the NL East, have lost four of five.
Cubs: Tucker Barnhart replaced Gomes at catcher. … Swanson received a gash above his right eye sliding into second base in the third. … RHP Kyle Hendricks (shoulder) will pitch in a rehab game Tuesday for Triple-A Iowa, looking to reach four innings or 60 pitches. … RHP Jameson Taillon (15-day injured list) will throw a bullpen session on Tuesday.
Nationals: RHP Chad Kuhl was placed on the 15-day injured list, retroactive to April 30, with a right big toe injury. RHP Cory Abbott was recalled from Triple-A Rochester. … 3B Carter Kieboom (Tommy John surgery), who has not played in a major league game since 2021, will begin a rehab assignment Wednesday for Double-A Harrisburg.
The four-game series continues on Tuesday night with Chicago’s Hayden Wesneski (2-1, 5.24 ERA) facing Washington’s Trevor Williams (1-1, 4.10).
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