Hernandez slows Cub bats, ends 4 game winning string

Livan Hernandez isn’t quite ready to declare this a career rebirth, no matter how dominant he’s looking in the early going. He was at it again on a chilly Tuesday night, pitching six-hit ball into the eighth inning to lead the Washington Nationals over the Cubs 3-1.Matt Capps allowed a two-out single to Geovany Soto in the ninth before striking out pinch-hitter Tyler Colvin for his major league leading ninth save in as many chances. That snapped the Cubs’ four-game win streak. Gorzelanny lasted seven innings in his longest start this season, allowing two runs and five hits. He settled down after a rough first but is still seeking his first win even though his ERA is just 2.45.With the gametime temperature at 43, the Nationals quickly warmed up and took the lead.They got triples from two of the first three batters, with Nyjer Morgan driving one to left-center leading off and scoring on a single by Desmond. Guzman then knocked a low slider over center fielder Byrd’s head for another triple that made it 2-0.The Cubs cut it to 2-1 in the second on back-to-back singles by Alfonso Soriano and Mike Fontenot that put runners on first and third before Soto’s RBI forceout. But the Cubs got little else against Hernandez, whose ERA is at 0.87.The Nationals backed him with several highlight reel defensive plays on Tuesday, robbing Lee three times.Third baseman Alberto Gonzalez dove to his left to snag Lee’s liner in the first. In the third, it was Desmond taking away a hit when the shortstop made a diving stop on a grounder toward the middle and, from his stomach, flipped to Guzman at second to force Fukudome. Then, in the sixth, Josh Willingham reached up for a nice running catch on Lee’s liner to left.

NOTES—Nationals C Ivan Rodriguez was back in the lineup after being scratched Monday because of lower back tightness. … Ryan Zimmerman was out of the lineup for the sixth straight game with right hamstring soreness and probably won’t start until this weekend’s series at Florida. … New Bears running back Chester Taylor threw out the ceremonial first pitch and delivered an off-key rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh-inning that might have made Harry Caray cringe.

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