Cubs Fall on Soggy Saturday Night

Carlos Zambrano left early, and the Cubs left nine on base in a 4-3 loss to the Washington Nationals on Saturday night at RFK Stadium.

Zambrano (3-2) lasted three-plus innings, allowing four runs in the fourth inning before exiting with one out. He set down the first nine batters he faced and left as the result of tightness in his right forearm.

Corey Patterson drove in two runs and made it six out of his last seven games with a hit. Patterson was 4-for-13 with two homers during the Cubs' three-game winning streak prior to Saturday.

The bullpen was stellar in the final 4.2 innings, allowing just two hits as a whole. Todd Wellemeyer worked two scoreless innings and has not allowed a run since being brought back up from AAA-Iowa. Wellemeyer has thrown 6.2 scoreless innings since rejoining the team, notching seven strikeouts to only one walk.

LaTroy Hawkins retired four out of five batters faced in an inning and a third, and left-hander Will Ohman made it 5.1 straight scoreless innings to open his big league season.

The Cubs mounted rallies in their last three innings but left runners in scoring position each time. In the ninth, pinch-hitter Mike Fontenot was hit by a pitch from Nationals closer Chad Cordero to start the rally. He later scored on Patterson's RBI single to left, but the Cubs left the tying and go-ahead runs on base to end it.

Neifi Perez worked the count to 3-2 with one out before flying to left. Derrek Lee then popped the first pitch up to shallow right for the final out.

The game was scheduled to start at 6:05 CDT. By the time Cordero recorded his eighth save and Livan Hernandez his sixth win, it was nearly midnight in Chicago; a rain delay barred play for almost three hours before the game finally started. Hernandez (6-2) also left the game early, the result of right knee soreness.

The series finale is set for 12:05 CDT Sunday (TV: WGN). Scheduled starters are Greg Maddux (2-1, 3.80) and John Patterson (2-1, 2.45).

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