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MLB Playoffs: Harper, Zimmerman HRs lift Nats past Cubs to even NLDS

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MLB Playoffs: Harper, Zimmerman HRs lift Nats past Cubs to even NLDS

WASHINGTON — Things were looking bleak for the Washington Nationals and their dormant offense until Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman took over.

Harper hit a tying two-run homer in the eighth inning and Zimmerman tacked on a three-run shot moments later to lift the Washington Nationals to a 6-3 comeback victory over the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs on Saturday, evening their NL Division Series at a game apiece.

The Nationals were in serious danger of falling behind 2-0 in the series, entering the eighth trailing 3-1 after losing 3-0 in Game 1. But after accumulating four hits through the first 16 innings of the postseason, NL East champion Washington broke out with five runs and four hits, led by 2015 NL MVP Harper and longtime face of the franchise Zimmerman.

"I was kind of bewildered, because it's not too many teams or pitchers that have held us in check like that for a couple days," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "I just knew in the bottom of my heart that we were going to explode for some numbers, which we've done all year."

The NLDS moves to Wrigley Field for Game 3 on Monday. The Cubs will have Jose Quintana on the mound and the Nationals counter with two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, who was pushed back in the rotation because of an injured right hamstring (see full recap).  

Puig powers Dodgers to 8-5 win over D-backs, 2-0 series lead
LOS ANGELES —Yasiel Puig had three hits and drove in two runs, Austin Barnes added a key two-run double and the Los Angeles Dodgers used another relentless offensive performance to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-5 on Saturday night for a 2-0 lead in their NL Division Series.

Logan Forsythe had three hits and Kenley Jansen earned a flawless five-out save for the 104-win Dodgers, who have made their mediocre pitching irrelevant by pounding out 17 runs and 24 hits in the first two games against their NL West rival.

Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Brandon Drury added a pinch-hit, three-run shot in the seventh, but the Diamondbacks are on the brink of elimination after Robbie Ray and reliever Jimmie Sherfy couldn't contain the Dodgers' lineup.

Game 3 is Monday at Chase Field.

Best of MLB: Ryan Zimmerman has record-setting night in Nationals' win

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Best of MLB: Ryan Zimmerman has record-setting night in Nationals' win

WASHINGTON -- Ryan Zimmerman had four run-scoring hits, including two solo home runs, drove in five runs and became the franchise's all-time RBI leader as the Washington Nationals defeated the Miami Marlins 10-1 on Wednesday night.

Gio Gonzalez (10-5) allowed one run over seven innings after nearly tossing a no-hitter against the Marlins in his previous start. In between, he missed a turn to be with his wife for the birth of their second child.

Bryce Harper had two hits and two RBIs for Washington while Howie Kendrick added three hits, including two doubles, and drove in three runs.

Major League home run leader Giancarlo Stanton went hitless for Miami after homering twice this series (see full recap).

Bumgarner gets 2nd win since return from accident
SAN FRANCISCO -- Madison Bumgarner allowed four hits over seven innings to win for the second time since returning from a dirt bike accident, helping the San Francisco Giants defeat the Chicago Cubs 3-1 Wednesday and complete a winning homestand for only the second time this season.

Bumgarner (2-5) struck out seven, walked one and gave up five hits -- including a third-inning home run by Albert Almora Jr. Bumgarner is 2-2 with a 2.52 ERA in five starts since returning July 12 after missing nearly three months because of injuries sustained April 20. Since beating Pittsburgh on July 25, he did not get a decision against the Los Angeles Dodgers and lost to Arizona.

Bumgarner has a 1.38 ERA in his last four starts and has received two runs or fewer of support in seven of 10 starts this year (see full recap).

Yankees overcome shaky Tanaka start for victory
TORONTO -- Todd Frazier homered and had three RBIs, Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius also went deep and the New York Yankees overcame a shaky start by Masahiro Tanaka to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 11-5 on Wednesday night.

Rookie Garrett Cooper had four hits for the Yankees, who had not scored in double figures since a 13-4 win at Houston on June 30. New York's 17 hits were one shy of its season high, set June 10 against Baltimore.

Frazier, who entered in a 5-for-33 slide, went back-to-back with Sanchez in the second, hit a two-run double in the fifth, then added a leadoff single in the eighth for his first three-hit game since the Yankees acquired him from the Chicago White Sox. He was hit by a pitch in his final plate appearance.

Cooper was not in the original starting lineup but replaced Clint Frazier, who felt tightness in his oblique during batting practice and is scheduled for an MRI on Thursday.

Gregorius hit his 18th homer in a third, a two-out drive off Nick Tepesch (0-2) (see full recap).

Best of MLB: Ryan Zimmerman sets franchise HR mark as Nationals sweep Reds

Best of MLB: Ryan Zimmerman sets franchise HR mark as Nationals sweep Reds

CINCINNATI -- Ryan Zimmerman set the Nationals' career home run record with a solo shot, and Bryce Harper connected again on Monday as Washington powered its way to a 6-1 victory for a four-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds.

Zimmerman's 235th career homer moved him ahead of Vladimir Guerrero for most in Expos and Nationals history.

Washington improved to a season-high 20 games over .500 (56-36) with its ninth victory in 11 games.

Stephen Strasburg (10-3) recovered from his shortest start of the season by fanning 11 in seven innings and allowing four hits, including Eugenio Suarez's homer.

Scott Feldman (7-7) lasted only one inning. He gave up a double, a single, Harper's three-run homer and Zimmerman's solo shot in his first 12 pitches. Feldman left after facing nine batters and giving up five runs on 33 pitches (see full recap).

Seager, Valencia HRs lift Mariners to win
HOUSTON -- Kyle Seager and Danny Valencia hit back-to-back homers in the 10th inning to lift the Seattle Mariners to a 9-7 win over the Houston Astros on Monday night.

The wild back and forth game was tied at 7-7 entering the 10th when Seager, who finished with three hits, connected off Tony Sipp (0-1) on a shot to the seats in right field. Valencia added an insurance run when he launched a slider to center field three pitches later.

Mike Zunino and Nelson Cruz also homered for the Mariners as they tied a season high with four homers to win their fifth straight game.

Yovani Gallardo (4-7) allowed two hits in a scoreless ninth for the win and Edwin Diaz struck out two in a scoreless 10th for his 17th save.

Cruz tied it in the seventh and Zunino put Seattle on top with his homer in the eighth. A sacrifice fly by George Springer scored a run to tie it at 7-7 in the bottom of the eighth.

Jake Marisnick and Carlos Beltran both homered for the Astros on a night when All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa left in the fourth inning after jamming his left thumb on a swing (see full recap).

Lester strong as Cubs hold off Braves
ATLANTA -- Jon Lester bounced back from the shortest start of his career by allowing only one run in seven innings and Chicago stopped Atlanta's ninth-inning comeback to give the Cubs a 4-3 win over the Braves on Monday night.

The Cubs led 4-1 before Atlanta scored two runs in the ninth off closer Wade Davis and loaded the bases with two outs.

Davis allowed one-out singles to Brandon Phillips and Freddie Freeman before Phillips scored from third on a wild pitch. Matt Kemp followed with a run-scoring single before pinch-runner Lane Adams stole second and moved to third on Tyler Flowers' fly ball to the warning track in center field.

Following an intentional walk to pinch-hitter Matt Adams, pinch-runner Dansby Swanson stole second, leaving runners on second and third. Davis walked Sean Rodriguez, playing in his first game of the season, to load the bases.

Johan Camargo's fly ball to shallow left ended the game, giving Davis his 18th consecutive save this season (see full recap).