May 11, 2013, 4:05 AM EST
Ian Desmond gets high-fives after his fourth-inning home run.
Considering how much the Nationals as a whole were struggling to score runs not that long ago, the lack of both Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth from their lineup Friday night could easily have spelled disaster.
These days, though, the Nationals are getting contributions from just about every slot in their lineup, more than enough to overcome the losses of a couple of key starters.
So it was Friday that they pulled off a rather easy, 7-3 victory over the Cubs thanks not to the contributions of Harper or Werth, but of Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa and Kurt Suzuki, who combined to drive in all of the Nats’ runs during the club’s fifth straight win.
“It’s big when your 3-hole hitter’s out of there and you score a bunch of runs,” manager Davey Johnson said. “That’s big.”
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
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