Cubs top Nats, take series in Washington

Albert Almora, Jr. was 3-for-3 with a walk and scored twice, Anthony Rizzo hit a home run, and Kyle Hendricks won his third decision in a row as the Chicago Cubs held on to beat host Washington 6-5 on Sunday night.

The Cubs have won 15 of their last 20 games while Hendricks (4-4) gave up four runs on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings after not allowing a hit until the fifth inning. Chicago scored a run in each of the first four innings and led 6-1 at one point.

Hendricks, in his previous three starts, went at least eight innings and allowed one run or less each time.

Howie Kendrick, a defensive replacement for the Nationals in the seventh inning, hit a solo homer off former teammate Brandon Kintzler to lead off the seventh and cut the lead to 6-5. Washington had one on and two out when Cubs reliever Steve Cishek came on to retire Anthony Rendon on a liner to short to end the threat. Cishek then got six more outs for his fourth save.

Rendon had a three-run homer to trim the lead to 6-4 in the sixth. Before the Nationals came to bat in the inning, the Cubs replaced Javier Baez at shortstop with Addison Russell.

Baez sustained a bruised right heel -- perhaps while making a sparkling play on a grounder off the bat of Washington starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson in the bottom of the third -- and was lifted before the Nationals came to bat in the sixth.

Both Baez and Cubs manager Joe Maddon said the shortstop could be in the lineup Monday.

Hellickson walked the first three batters of the game and then Baez drove in a run on a fielder's choice for a 1-0 lead. Kyle Schwarber's sacrifice fly in the second gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead.

Rizzo led off the third with a homer off Hellickson as Chicago assumed a 3-0 advantage, then the Cubs made it 4-0 in the fourth on another Schwarber sacrifice fly.

Washington got its first run in the fifth as Brian Dozier drove in a run with a groundout to make it 4-1.

The Cubs responded with two in the sixth for a 6-1 advantage on a Hendricks RBI bunt and Kris Bryant's RBI single.

Hellickson (2-3) was yanked after allowing three runs on four hits with three walks in three innings. He also struck out one.

Gerardo Parra had three hits for the Nationals.

Before the game, Cubs manager Joe Maddon announced his team had dropped its protest of Washington's 5-2 win on Saturday night. In that game, Maddon complained to the umpires about the delivery of Washington closer Sean Doolittle in the ninth inning.

--Field Level Media