WASHINGTON (AP) - Manager Davey Johnson took this loss personally.
His team up by eight runs after four innings, Johnson watched his starting pitcher let the Chicago Cubs back in the game.
Then, he had to watch a undermanned bullpen blow the game in the ninth inning. After more than 3 1/2 hours, Johnson's Washington Nationals blew an eight-run lead in a loss for the first time in the 42-year history of the franchise.
Darwin Barney's tiebreaking ninth-inning double, capped off a wild comeback and the Chicago Cubs rebounded from that eight-run deficit to beat the Nationals 10-9 on Thursday night.
Tony Campana reached on a fielder's choice, stole second and scored when Barney doubled to right off Henry Rodriguez (3-2). It was Barney's third hit and RBI of the game.
``I'm gonna have a hard time sleeping on that one tonight,' Johnson said.
His bullpen taxed, Johnson watched Livan Hernandez allow an 8-0 lead after four innings to shrink to 8-6 in the sixth.
``I stayed with Livo - and I got burnt,' Johnson said. ``I gambled, I gambled. That's what I did.'
Johnson's gambles have mostly paid off in his first 11 games as Nationals' manager. On Wednesday night, he ordered a suicide squeeze, but this time, no dice.
``That one - you can chalk up to me,' Johnson said.
It was the first time Chicago came back from eight runs down since May 30, 2008, when it beat Colorado 10-9 according to STATS LLC.
This is the second straight night a team blew an 8-0 lead. Cincinnati was up 8-0 in the fifth inning and beat St. Louis 9-8 in 13 innings on Wednesday.
Each Washington starter had at least one hit as the Nationals built an 8-0 lead in the fourth inning on Thursday.
Chicago scored six runs in the sixth and two runs in the seventh to tie it.
The Cubs took a 9-8 lead in the top of the eighth, and the Nationals tied it at 9 in the bottom of the eighth.
Sean Marshall (5-2), the fifth Chicago pitcher, was the winner. He allowed one run and two hits.
Carlos Marmol pitched a scoreless ninth for his 18th save in 23 chances. He hit Rick Ankiel with a pitch leading off the inning, and walked Laynce Nix. But Marmol retired Roger Bernadina on a fly to right to end the game.
The Cubs salvaged the final game of the four-game series with their most runs since they scored 12 on June 16. Five of their past six games have been decided by a run.
Hernandez allowed four singles through five innings and then gave up six runs - including five straight hits - in the sixth inning as the Cubs cut the lead to 8-6.
``Ninety-nine percent of the time you win the game when it's 8-0,' Hernandez said.
While Johnson and Hernandez were taking the loss hard, Jayson Werth said he wasn't.
``A loss is a loss - however you want to throw it up there,' Werth said.
``I don't think this loss is that big a deal. We can get over this - no problem.'
Chicago tied the score at 8 in the seventh.
The Nationals scored a season-high seven runs in a third inning that featured three infield singles, two hits - a double and single - from Bernadina and two errors - one by starting pitcher Matt Garza - and a ground ball by Ankiel that bounced up and hit Chicago first baseman Carlos Pena in the face. Garza was charged with all seven runs - six earned. He left the game after facing eight batters in the inning and not retiring a single one.
Danny Espinosa had a two-run single, Wilson Ramos a two-run double, Michael Morse, Werth and Bernadina had RBI singles. Bernadina had three hits.
Washington added a run in the fourth on an RBI double by Ankiel. The hit scored Ryan Zimmerman, who reached on a two-base error by Kosuke Fukudome.
In the six-run inning, Alfonso Soriano drove in the first run with an RBI single, two scored on a double by Barney and Blake DeWitt had a pinch-hit three-run home run that hit the right field foul pole. It was his second homer of the season.
In 5 2-3 innings, Hernandez allowed six runs and 10 hits.
In the seventh inning, Aramis Ramirez walked with one out against Todd Coffey, who relieved Hernandez. Pena homered to the Washington bullpen in right - his 19th of the season - tying the score at 8.
Ramirez's RBI single in the top of the eighth gave Chicago a brief 9-8 lead.
Morse's RBI single in the bottom of the eighth made it 9-9.
NOTES: Washington C Ivan Rodriguez was a late scratch with a right oblique injury. He hurt it during batting practice, and iced it several times during the game. ``I'm never experienced this kind of injury,' Rodriguez said. ``This never happens to me.' He hopes he can avoid the disabled list. ... Nationals RHP Chien-Ming Wang made his third rehab start, throwing five scoreless innings for Double-A Harrisburg, allowing two hits and striking out two. He threw just 42 pitches and didn't walk a batter.
The Associated Press News Service
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