Rapid Reaction: Cubs 4, Nationals 3

CHICAGO -- A quick look at the Chicago Cubs' 4-3 win over the Washington Nationals on Thursday at Wrigley Field.

How it happened: Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena hit back-to-back home runs in the seventh to put the Cubs up 4-1. But the Nationals fought back, trailing 4-2 heading into the ninth. Carlos Marmol then loaded the bases, but escaped after yielding just one run. Ryan Dempster won his third straight, by going seven innings.

What it means: The Cubs won their third straight series.

Outside the box: Kerry Wood has struck out eight straight batters, tying Juan Cruz's (2003) club record. The record is since the mound was lowered in 1969. Andrew Cashner threw a side session and felt good as he prepares to face live hitters on Saturday. Starlin Castro's 10-game hit streak was snapped.

Up next: Carlos Zambrano (9-5, 4.46) vs. Atlanta's Mike Minor (1-2, 4.85).