Doubles don't add up to much for Cubs

WASHINGTON -- Teams rarely hit seven doubles in a game, but they’ll usually win when they do. That didn't happen for the Chicago Cubs on Friday night, and it’s why they were a frustrated bunch after their series opener with the Washington Nationals.

Chicago banged out seven doubles, including four to start innings, but failed to do much with them, which helped Washington roll to an easy 7-3 victory at Nationals Park.

After the game, Cubs manager Dale Sveum was sitting at his desk with a look of frustration on his face, searching for an answer to the bizarre game he'd just watched.

“It was a strange game,” he said. “You… have seven doubles and basically only score three runs and two of the runs were on ground outs. Very, very strange game tonight.”

Starlin Castro doubled to start the game and finished with a pair of two-baggers. Pitcher Jeff Samardzjia contributed the first double of his career. Scott Hairston, Cody Ransom, Ryan Sweeney and Darwin Barney also got doubles.

It just wound up not meaning much because the Cubs missed several scoring chances the doubles created. They finished just 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position, stranding seven overall.

“The lineup was fine,” Sveum said. “We just couldn't do anything after the doubles.”

The Cubs (13-22) actually out-hit the Nationals (20-15) by one (10-9). Chicago put runners on base in eight of the nine innings and had runners in scoring position in six separate frames. They just never were able to come up with the big hit as, like Sveum said, two of their runs came on groundouts.

But Washington got the right hits at the right times. The Nationals went 3-for-6 with runners in scoring position, using two-run doubles from Kurt Suzuki and Danny Espinosa plus Ian Desmond’s two-run homer.

They hit less. They just did more with it.

"We had guys hit the ball well," Sweeney said. "You've just got the build on that. We had a lot of [doubles]. We just didn't score as many runs as they did tonight."