Willson Contreras wasn’t happy with a called second strike in the second inning. He hit the next pitch out of the park.
Contreras homered and had three RBIs, Jon Lester pitched five-hit ball through six innings and the host Chicago Cubs beat the Atlanta Braves 8-3 Monday in a chippy matchup of NL division leaders.
The Cubs strung together five straight hits in a five-run fifth inning to break the game open.
Tempers flared in the second inning when Contreras homered to right for a 1-0 lead. Contreras turned and spoke to Braves catcher Tyler Flowers after the ball left his bat, then gestured to Atlanta’s dugout.
Contreras said he was questioning a called strike that he felt was outside the zone.
“I just tell (Flowers) to do his job and I do mine,” Contreras said. “To be honest, those pitches weren’t even close to the strike zone. He got mad because I was talking to the umpire about that, and he jumped into the conversation.”
The benches cleared, umpire John Tumpane warned both teams and players congregated on the third-base line. No blows were exchanged.
“I think it died down as soon as it was over,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “It was just a couple of catchers going at it a little bit.”
D’backs 8, Dodgers 5: Host Arizona broke a 4-4 tie with a four-run eighth to end Los Angeles’ six-game win streak.
Phillies 13, Mets 7: Maikel Franco hit a go-ahead two-run homer, Rhys Hoskins, Jean Segura and Jay Bruce also went deep, and host Philadelphia snapped a seven-game losing streak.
Red Sox 6, White Sox 5: Marco Hernandez beat out an infield single with bases full in the ninth for host Boston.
Yankees 10, Blue Jays 8: Aaron Hicks and Giancarlo Stanton stretched the Yankees’ home run streak to a record-tying 27 games, and host New York beat Toronto. New York matched the mark set by the 2002 Texas Rangers.
Indians 3, Royals 2: Jason Kipnis homered leading off the 10th and host Cleveland is an AL-best 15-6 in June after it won a game delayed 2 hours, 23 minutes by rain. Whit Merrifield homered for the Royals.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Cubs-chirp-a-little-bit-then-beat-Braves-14041682.php.