Abrams, Nats squeeze past Cubs for 2nd straight night, 2-1

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 03: Trey Mancini #36 of the Chicago Cubs high fives Mike Napoli #55 after hitting a single against the Washington Nationals during the ninth inning at Nationals Park on May 03, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jess Rapfogel/Gett

CJ Abrams had a tiebreaking RBI single in the seventh inning for the second consecutive game, and the Washington Nationals beat the Chicago Cubs 2-1 on a damp and unseasonably chilly Wednesday night.

After Marcus Stroman pitched six crisp innings for the Cubs, the Nationals went ahead on four pitches by Adbert Alzolay (1-1). Lane Thomas tripled down the left-field line, the first extra-base hit of the game, and Abrams lined the next pitch to center.

Jake Irvin held the Cubs to two hits over 4 1/3 innings in his major league debut, and five Washington pitchers limited Chicago to six singles. Carl Edwards Jr. (1-1) retired the side in the seventh, Hunter Harvey worked the eighth and Kyle Finnegan induced a game-ending double-play grounder from Patrick Wisdom for his seventh save.

The Cubs have lost five of six, all to NL East foes, and fell to .500 for the first time since April 9.

Irvin, a 6-foot-6, 26-year-old right-hander, was rated by Baseball America as the prospect with the best control in the Nationals' system, but his first pitch hit the "O" in Nico Hoerner's name on the back of his jersey. Irvin flashed a smile as Hoerner jogged to first.
Irvin walked four batters and was pulled after his second walk of the fifth. Andres Machado came on and got a double-play grounder on his first pitch to end the threat.

The Nationals put runners on second and third with one out in the fifth, but Stroman struck out Alex Call and retired Luis García on a broken-bat grounder to short. Stroman pounded his glove in satisfaction as he walked off the mound.

Stroman allowed one run on five hits. He has given up two runs or fewer in six of his seven starts but is winless since April 7.

Seiya Suzuki had an RBI single in the first for Chicago. The Nationals tied it in the second when Joey Meneses singled, moved to third on a single by Jeimer Candelario and scored on Dominic Smith's double-play grounder.


The Nationals held a moment of silence before the game for longtime team physician Dr. Bruce Thomas, who died Tuesday night of complications from a recent surgery.


The Cubs sent C Luis Torrens to the Baltimore Orioles for cash.


Cubs: C Yan Gomes, who was hit in the head by a backswing on Monday night, was placed on the seven-day concussion injured list, retroactive to Tuesday. Chicago recalled RHP Javier Assad from Triple-A Iowa. ... RHP Kyle Hendricks (right shoulder) made a rehab appearance for Iowa on Wednesday, allowing four runs in 2 2/3 innings. ... RHP Codi Heuer (Tommy John surgery) was set to throw one inning at the Cubs' training facility in Arizona.

Nationals: Reinstated INF Ildemaro Vargas (left shoulder) from the 10-day injured list and optioned SS Jeter Downs to Triple-A Rochester.


The Cubs had not announced a starter for Thursday's series finale. Left-hander Patrick Corbin (1-4, 5.74 ERA) was set to pitch for Washington.