- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 29, 2017

A brief dust-up in Thursday’s loss to the Cubs led to Dusty Baker’s first ejection as the Washington Nationals’ manager.

Baker went out to argue with first base umpire David Rackley in the sixth inning, presumably still upset after left fielder Ryan Raburn was called out on strikes. It was a rare moment for the normally cool and collected Baker.

But by the ninth, Baker’s ejection seemed like ancient history. The main storyline? Blake Treinen blew another game.

Treinen allowed three runs in the ninth Thursday and the Nationals lost 5-4 to the Chicago Cubs.

The Nationals entered the ninth inning with a 4-2 lead thanks to a 2-run homer by Anthony Rendon and an RBI single from Brian Goodwin in the seventh.

Treinen’s blown save snapped a two-game win streak as the Nationals now head to St. Louis to face the Cardinals. Treinen got flustered after hitting Jeimer Candelario. He then proceeded to give up two singles and a double, which brought home the winning run for the Cubs.

Washington entered Thursday’s game with pitcher Joe Ross set to start against Cubs ace Jon Lester.

Ross went inning-for-inning with Lester, doing it without run support. Prior to Thursday, the Nationals had averaged 11.12 runs of support in Ross’ starts.

Instead, Ross threw for 6 ⅔ innings and only allowed five hits and two runs. He was pulled in the seventh when Chicago took a 2-1 lead off a Candelario home run.

The teams were locked in a 1-1 duel for the majority of the game. Both Lester and Ross gave up runs in the first inning. Chicago scored when Wilson Contreras had an RBI single and Washington’s Ryan Zimmerman doubled to score Bryce Harper.

But after Treinen had seemingly got back on track (a 1.35 ERA over the last four games), the Nationals lack of a closer continues to cost the team.

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