Rizzo, Cubs slam Pirates
CHICAGO (AP) — Anthony Rizzo hit a grand slam, Willson Contreras launched two long solo homers and the Chicago Cubs kept pace in the NL wild-card race with a 17-8 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday.
Rookie Nico Hoerner hit a two-run shot for his first major league homer and had four RBIs for the Cubs, who entered tied with Milwaukee for the second NL wild card and four games behind NL Central-leading St. Louis. The Cardinals hosted the Brewers on Friday night.
Contreras, Hoerner and Nicholas Castellanos each homered in the first with the wind blowing out as Chicago scored five times — and then kept on rolling — after Pittsburgh jumped on Jon Lester for a 4-0 lead.
Pablo Reyes had a double and triple among three hits, and two RBIs. Kevin Newman had three hits and an RBI for Pittsburgh.
Lester (13-10) got the win despite allowing seven runs (four earned) on 11 hits in five innings. Alec Mills pitched the final three innings for his first save.
Pirates starter Steven Brault (4-5) was tagged for 10 runs on Chicago’s five homers in 2 2/3 innings.
The Pirates scored three unearned runs in the fifth, set up when catcher Contreras threw Adam Frazier’s tapper in front of the plate wide of first with two outs.