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Nats Drop Cardinals; Sox, Royals Rained Out; Cubs Open Series With Philly

>>Nationals Edge Cardinals


Bryce Harper hit a slump-busting home run, Danny Espinosa also went deep and the Washington Nationals got seven strong innings from right-hander Joe Ross in a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night.

The light-hitting Espinosa snapped the tie in the seventh with a drive to right. Batting eighth, Espinosa came in with a .199 batting average and three home runs.


Both homers came off Mike Leake (3-4), who won his previous three starts while allowing only two runs over 21 innings.


Felipe Rivero worked the eighth and Jonathan Papelbon got three straight outs for his 13th save.


Aledmys Diaz homered for St. Louis, 0-4 against Washington this season.


The Cardinals were without their top run producer, Matt Carpenter, who was placed on the paternity list earlier Thursday. He leads St. Louis with nine homers and 32 RBIs.


Jaime Garcia (3-4, 3.59 ERA) enters Friday night's game in bounce-back mode after giving up a total of eight runs and 15 hits in his last two starts.


Max Scherzer (5-3, 3.80) is 1-2 lifetime against St. Louis, but he threw seven shutout innings against the Cardinals on May 1.


>>Sox, Royals Rained Out


While the Chicago White Sox game at Kansas City was postponed because of rain Thursday night, the Royals are looking on how to fill the gap of possibly losing All-Star third baseman Mike Moustakas for the season to a knee injury.

No makeup date was announced, but it will not be rescheduled as part of this series.

It was the second rainout this season for the Royals.


White Sox right-hander Miguel Gonzalez and Royals left-hander Danny Duffy, the scheduled starters Thursday, will pitch Friday.


>>Cubs Host Phillies This Weekend


The Chicago Cubs will open a three game weekend series with the Philladelphia Phillies this afternoon from Wrigley Field.


The Cubs send Jon Lest to the mound in the opener opposite Adam Morgan today for a 1:20 pm start time.


Jared Eickhoff and Kyle Hendricks square off Saturday at 1:20 pm and the series concludes Sunday when Vince Velasquez starts for Philly opposite John Lackey.


The Cubs are the leaders in the Central at 31-14 and are coming off a series win at St. Louis earlier this week. 

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