CHICAGO — Anibal Sanchez wanted to help his weary teammates with a strong performance on the mound.
The solid afternoon at the plate was an unexpected bonus.
Sanchez pitched one-hit ball into the ninth inning and helped himself with two perfectly placed bunts, leading the Washington Nationals to a 9-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Friday.
“I’m not a good hitter, but if I can do something for the team on the home plate, it’s good,” Sanchez said.
Washington had a short turnaround with an early start after its 7-1 victory at Pittsburgh on Thursday night. The Nationals did not arrive in Chicago until early Friday morning, but their loaded lineup looked as if it got more than enough rest.
“Proud of the boys,” manager Dave Martinez said. “They battled through a long night last night, came back here and (were) ready to play. They played really well and Anibal led that.”
Juan Soto and Adam Eaton homered as Washington improved to 13-4 in its past 17 games, putting pressure on NL East-leading Atlanta and strengthening its position atop the wild-card standings. It has outscored its opponents 129-66 since Aug. 5.
Mariners 7, Blue Jays 4: SEATTLE — Omar Narvaez and J.P. Crawford homered, and Seattle Mariners Toronto for its fifth win in six games. Narvaez led off the second inning with his 18th homer and Crawford did the same leading off the fifth, belting his sixth of the year.
Braves 2, Mets 1: NEW YORK — Billy Hamilton singled home the go-ahead run in the 14th inning for his first hit as a Brave, and Atlanta beat New York for its sixth straight win despite yet another sensational game by Jacob deGrom.
Marlins 19, Phillies 11: MIAMI — Starlin Castro homered twice and drove in five runs, and Miami spotted Philadelphia a seven-run lead before rallying to score their most runs ever at Marlins Park.
Astros 5, Angels 4: HOUSTON — Zack Greinke won his fourth straight start since being traded to Houston and Yuli Gurriel hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning to send the Astros past Los Angeles.
Cardinals 8, Rockies 3: ST. LOUIS — Jack Flaherty pitched six scoreless innings, Marcell Ozuna homered and drove in three runs, and St. Louis beat Colorado.
Indians 4, Royals 1: CLEVELAND — Brad Hand bounced back from his recent struggles to record his 30th save, Francisco Lindor hit a two-run homer and Cleveland beat Kansas City.
Brewers 6, Diamondbacks 1: MILWAUKEE — Jordan Lyles was pulled after pitching six no-hit innings for Milwaukee, and reliever Devin Williams gave up a bloop single with two outs in the seventh.
White Sox 8, Rangers 3: CHICAGO — Dylan Cease settled down after a tough start, Yoan Moncada hit a two-run homer for the second straight night and Chicago beat Texas.
Pirates 3, Reds 2: PITTSBURGH — Pablo Reyes hit a game-ending RBI single, driving in pinch-runner Joe Musgrove, and Pittsburgh rallied to beat Cincinnati.
Rays 7, Orioles 1: BALTIMORE — Austin Meadows hit his first career grand slam to cap a seven-run second inning, Trevor Richards shined in his second start with Tampa Bay and the Rays beat Baltimore.
Tigers 9, Twins 6: MINNEAPOLIS — Ronny Rodriguez had three hits, including a grand slam, and Drew VerHagen struck out 11 in a career-high six innings as Detroit beat AL Central-leading Minnesota.
Yankees 10, Dodgers 2: LOS ANGELES — Didi Gregorius hit a grand slam off Hyun-Jin Ryu and added a solo shot to lead New York to the blowout win.
Red Sox 11, Padres 0: SAN DIEGO — J.D. Martinez hit two three-run homers and drove in a career-high seven runs, helping Eduardo Rodriguez and the Red Sox to the easy win.