It's been a month since the Chicago Cubs won a home series
If they can take advantage of a struggling Washington Nationals' pitching staff once again, that drought will end Wednesday in the finale of this three-game series in Chicago
The Cubs rebounded from a 7-5 setback in the series opener on Monday with a 17-3 shellacking of the Nationals on Tuesday. Patrick Wisdom clubbed a tiebreaking solo shot in the seventh inning for his second homer in as many nights, and Seiya Suzuki also went deep for one of his four hits
Chicago rode a 17-run, 20-hit attack to its third win in the past 12 games at home, where it last won a series by taking two of three from Baltimore on June 16-18.
"You build on the outing, the confidence, and carry that into (Wednesday)," said manager David Ross, whose Cubs are 7 1/2 games out of first place in the National League Central and uncertain which direction they'll go at the upcoming trade deadline
Wisdom is 4-for-10 with three homers and six RBIs in four games after going 3-for-44 in his previous 16 contests. Meanwhile, with two hits Tuesday, teammate Cody Bellinger is batting .432 in his past 20 games.
Chicago's Kyle Hendricks (3-4, 3.57 ERA) allowed seven earned runs, 18 hits and five walks over 32 1/3 innings while going 3-1 spanning a five-start stretch from June 10 to July 4. In two starts since then, the veteran right-hander has yielded nine runs and 18 hits -- including a whopping six homers -- in 10 1/3 innings.
He served up four solo homers while giving up five runs in 4 2/3 innings of Friday's 8-3 home loss to the Boston Red Sox.
"You've gotta learn something from every (start)," Hendricks said. "Mostly, move on to the next one, because I really feel like I still executed a lot of pitches."
Though Hendricks last faced the Nationals in 2021, he's 5-2 with a 2.91 ERA in 11 regular-season and postseason starts against them
Washington had won four straight this season against Chicago before falling to 2-3 post-All-Star break with Tuesday's loss.
Dominic Smith had three hits and Lane Thomas homered in the loss for the Nationals, whose pitching staff has a 9.21 ERA since the break. Their injury-depleted bullpen has yielded 27 runs and 36 hits over 20 2/3 innings in the past five games
"It's just about going out there and competing," Nationals manager Dave Martinez said
"Hopefully they bounce back."
Right-hander Trevor Williams (5-5, 4.42 ERA) is slated to start Wednesday for Washington. He allowed four hits over 5 1/3-scoreless innings during a 4-1 home victory over Chicago on May 2. He is 4-7 with a 4.81 ERA in 16 career appearances (12 starts) against the Cubs
A member of the Cubs for most of the 2021 season, Williams allowed a run in the first inning versus the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday. He pitched 2 2/3 innings before that contest was suspended by rain
With a two-run single Tuesday, Washington's Corey Dickerson is batting .400 with 12 RBIs during 24 career games at Wrigley Field.
--Field Level Media