How it happened: Trailing 2-1 after two innings thanks to an Ian Desmond home run the Cubs went to work on Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann. They scored one in the fourth on a Jonathan Herrera RBI single then two more in the fifth and sixth innings on RBIs by Chris Coghlan (2), a wild pitch and a Starlin Castro base hit. Miguel Montero was thrown out at the plate on the Castro hit but the Cubs inflicted enough damage to chase Zimmerman after five innings and 10 hits. Cubs' starter Kyle Hendricks made big pitches when he needed to especially in the fifth inning when he got Bryce Harper to fly out and Anthony Rendon to pop up with men on base and a run already in. He lasted five innings giving up six hits without a walk.
What it means: It was one of the better days of the season at the plate for the Cubs. They managed 14 hits but not one left the park. They singled and doubled off Zimmermann and the Nationals, as five Cubs had two or more hits and the second through fifth hitters each had at least one walk. It hasn't happened often this season but that's the kind of offense the Cubs envision in the coming years: One that passes the baton off to the next guy with the occasional big home run. It's a work-in-progress but it worked to perfection on Sunday.
The Cubs took 3 of 4 games from the Nationals in their building -- improving to 4-3 on their road trip which concludes in Detroit. They played one of their better series since a sweep of the Mets about a month ago and have now improved to 30-25 on the season.
Injury update: Before the game, manager Joe Maddon indicated that reliever Neil Ramirez is getting closer to a rehab assignment but no definitive timeline was announced.
"Neil is throwing the ball and he's doing well but nothing new going on," Maddon said.
Ramirez has been out since April with shoulder inflammation.
There was nothing new to report on the oblique injury to Tommy La Stella. He's still out of action for an extended period of time.
What's next: The Cubs travel to Detroit where they'll have a day off on Monday. They open a 2-game series with the Tigers on Tuesday night where Jon Lester (4-4, 3.86) takes on Anibal Sanchez (3-7, 5.69).