CHICAGO — Nico Hoerner capped Chicago’s five-run eighth inning with his first career grand slam, helping the Cubs beat the Washington Nationals 8-3 on Wednesday night.
Mike Tauchman also homered and drove in three runs as Chicago earned its second straight win after dropping the opener of the three-game series Monday night. Kyle Hendricks pitched six innings of one-run ball.
“It was just a little bit of a battle,” Hendricks said. “They don’t walk, don’t strike out really. So, a lot of foul balls, a lot of deep counts. But at the end of the day, I got outs when I needed to.”
Washington tied it at 3 with two runs in the top of the eighth against Julian Merryweather (3-0).
Jeimer Candelario, who could be on the move ahead of the Aug. 1 trade deadline, led off with his 15th homer. Three straight two-out singles by Dominic Smith, Corey Dickerson and Luis Garcia produced another run.
Chicago bounced back in the bottom half. Pinch-hitter Yan Gomes made it 4-3 with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly against Mason Thompson (3-3).
After Tucker Barnhart struck out and Tauchman walked, Hoerner greeted Cory Abbott with a drive to left-center for his sixth homer of the season.
“Getting the barrel of the bat out front on an even count was really nice for him to see the ball well,” manager David Ross said. “Not as jumpy tonight as he had been probably two or three nights ago. I feel like the time is coming. Everybody feels like they’re starting to feel pretty good.”
Washington right-hander Trevor Williams allowed two runs and seven hits in five innings.
Tauchman drove Williams’ second pitch of the game deep to left-center for his fourth homer. He also hit an RBI double in the fourth and another run-scoring double in the seventh against Jordan Weems.
“I’m just up there,” Tauchman said. “Nothing’s changed. I was happy with my at-bats tonight. I think [I’m] just constantly making these micro adjustments, whether that’s approach or from a physical standpoint. So just continue to work and continue the approach.”
The Nationals placed RHP Paolo Espino (finger) on the 15-day injured list, and RHP Rico Garcia was promoted from the minors.