The shoe was on the other foot for once, and this time the Cubs weren't the ones shooting themselves in it.

An attempted throw to third by Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki on a double steal deflected off the bat of batter Welington Castillo in the ninth inning of Sunday's game, swerving left of the base and down the line. That allowed Alfonso Soriano to score the go-ahead run in a wild, 2-1 win at Nationals Park.

"That's the way you draw it up," manager Dale Sveum said. "Make the catcher get around you. You don't duck and let the catcher get a throwing lane."

After being held without a baserunner for five innings by Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez, the Cubs rallied for single runs in the eighth and ninth inning to take the series.

"That bullpen with (Rafael) Soriano, he's a great pitcher," Alfonso Soriano said. "But we got that break. We'll take it. It's important we got that win."

Kevin Gregg pitched another perfect ninth, notching his sixth save in six chances.

The Cubs still are only 15-22, so they have a long way to go before they can say Sunday's win was big. But after losing so many close games in the early going, it was easy to see why they felt so good about it afterward.

"It's going to hopefully translate into some more wins," starter Scott Feldman said. "We can start believing in each other a little more and know we can compete on a high level with a great team over there and come out here and get a series win."

For much of the afternoon, it looked as though Feldman was going to be the latest starter to lose a game he dominated. After giving up a first-inning run, Feldman settled down and held the Nationals in check through the sixth.