Jon Lester homers, drives in 3, pitches Cubs past Pirates 10-4

Jon Lester showed he still has it all going on in his 14th major league season.

Lester homered, tied a career high with three RBIs and pitched effectively into the seventh inning to lead the Chicago Cubs past the Pittsburgh Pirates 10-4 on Saturday at Wrigley Field.

All-Star catcher Willson Contreras’ three-run homer and Lester’s two-run single off the left-field wall were the big hits in the Cubs’ seven-run first inning. In the third, the 35-year-old left-hander connected for his third career home run — all with the Cubs at Wrigley Field — for the NL Central leaders.

After nine seasons in the American League, Lester has embraced hitting in the past five with the Cubs.

“I take a little more pride in that since I’ve been over here,” he said. “Just trying to get quality at-bats and see some pitches.”

The Pirates’ Starling Marte hit a pair of solo shots to give him three homers in two days in Chicago, and Jung Ho Kang also had a long solo homer.

Twins 6, Indians 2: Max Kepler hit two more home runs off Trevor Bauer, Jake Cave drove in three runs and visiting Minnesota tightened its grip on the AL Central as Cleveland has slipped two games further back this weekend. Kepler homered leading off the game and again in the second inning off Bauer (8-7), giving the Twins outfielder five homers in five consecutive at-bats — all in Cleveland — over two games against the right-hander. Kepler homered three times off Bauer on June 6.

Angels 9, Mariners 2: Mike Trout hit a two-run home run, Albert Pujols had four RBIs and host Los Angeles followed up a combined no-hitter with a resounding win over Seattle. Before the game the Angels designated former Giants outfielder Jarrett Parker for assignment, with starter Matt Harvey coming off the injured list. Parker went 0-for-12 with three walks in five games.

Dodgers 11, Red Sox 2: Justin Turner had three extra-base hits, two off Chris Sale to continue the Red Sox left-hander’s struggles at Fenway Park, and Los Angeles snapped a four-game skid.

Braves 7, Padres 5: Ozzie Albies singled in a run in the 10th inning, and Tyler Flowers then hit a two-run double for visiting Atlanta. Manny Machado hit two solo homers for San Diego, which loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the 10th before pitcher Luis Perdomo struck out looking.

Astros 7, Rangers 6: George Springer scored the go-ahead run from first base on Jose Altuve’s two-out double in the 11th inning and AL West-leading Houston defeated Texas.

Blue Jays 2, Yankees 1: Toronto center fielder Randal Grichuk made a diving catch with the bases loaded and hit a two-run single as the Blue Jays held off host New York.

Mets 4, Marlins 2: Robinson Cano hit a tie-breaking, two-run homer in the eighth inning to lift visiting New York over Miami.

Royals 4, Tigers 1: Bubba Starling delivered his first career hit and RBI for Kansas City, Brad Keller outdueled Matthew Boyd, and the Royals held on to beat Detroit.

Cardinals 4, Diamondbacks 2: Tyler O’Neill homered and tied a career high with four RBIs as host St. Louis topped Arizona.

Nationals 4, Phillies 3: Juan Soto hit a go-ahead two-run homer off Phillies closer Hector Neris with two outs in the ninth and visiting Washington rallied to defeat Philadelphia.

Rays, Orioles split: Michael Brosseau and Nate Lowe each hit two of visiting Tampa Bay’s season-high six home runs, and the Rays pounded Baltimore 12-4 in the nightcap for a doubleheader split. In the opener, Stevie Wilkerson hit a two-run homer and the Orioles got effective pitching in a bullpen game for a 2-1 win.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Jon-Lester-homers-drives-in-3-pitches-Cubs-past-14094151.php.

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