- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Stephen Strasburg struck out 13 in seven innings, Bryce Harper had two doubles and two RBIs, and the Washington Nationals beat the Chicago Cubs 8-4 on Wednesday night.

Anthony Rendon and Matt Wieters hit back-to-back homers against John Lackey (5-9) during Washington’s four-run second inning. After the Cubs pulled within three at 6-3, Daniel Murphy went deep in the fifth.

It was a rough day for the Cubs, who cut veteran catcher Miguel Montero after he criticized pitcher Jake Arrieta for his role in the Nationals’ seven steals in Tuesday’s 6-1 win over the World Series champions. Then reigning NL MVP Kris Bryant departed with an apparent right ankle injury.

Bryant awkwardly clipped third base while catching a foul pop off the bat of Wieters in the sixth. He walked around gingerly before being helped off the field.

Strasburg (9-2) allowed three runs, two earned, and four hits in his first win against the Cubs. He improved to 6-1 in his last nine starts.

Ryan Zimmerman drove in two runs for the NL East-leading Nationals, who have won two in a row over the Cubs after dropping Monday’s series opener.

Willison Contreras and Anthony Rizzo homered for Chicago, which has dropped four of six. Lackey allowed a season-high eight runs and nine hits over 5 1/3 innings.

Strasburg rebounded after allowing five earned runs in five innings during a no-decision against Cincinnati on Friday. He retired nine of his first 10 batters and struck out the side in the second and third innings.

After Contreras’s two-run homer in the fourth and a Chicago run in the fifth, Strasburg set down his final eight batters.

Rizzo hit his team-leading 18th home run against Enny Romero in the eighth.

Harper doubled and scored in the first inning on Zimmerman’s base hit. He added a bases-loaded walk in the second and an RBI double in the sixth off Brian Duensing.

Chicago recalled catcher Victor Caratini from Triple-A Iowa to replace Montero. Caratini hit .343 with eight home runs and 54 RBI in 68 games for Iowa this season.

Nationals righty Koda Glover said an MRI on his shoulder revealed severe inflammation of the rotator cuff, and he is waiting for it to go away.

“I’m still a little bit of a ways from throwing,” he said. Glover, who is 0-1 with a 5.12 ERA and eight saves in 23 games, went on the disabled list June 11 with what the team described as lower back stiffness.

Cubs shortstop Addison Russell (shoulder) was out of the starting lineup for a third game in a row.

Cubs lefty Jon Lester (5-4, 3.83 ERA) is 2-3 with a 5.49 ERA in seven road starts this season. Nationals righty Joe Ross (4-3, 5.40 ERA), who has lost both of his career starts against the Cubs, gets the ball against Lester on Thursday as Washington wraps up a seven-game homestand.

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