Veteran southpaw Cole Hamels notched his first complete game of the season and the 17th of his career, and the Chicago Cubs cruised to a 7-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday night at Wrigley Field.
Anthony Rizzo and Javy Baez homered for the Cubs, who have gone deep in a season-high eight consecutive games. Chicago owns the best record in the National League at 73-53.
Phillip Ervin went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base to lead the Reds. Cincinnati has lost two games in a row and seven of 11.
Hamels improved to 9-9 overall and 4-0 since the Cubs acquired him July 27 from the Texas Rangers. In a masterful 114-pitch performance, the 34-year-old limited the Reds to one run on eight hits, walking two and striking out seven.
He owns a 0.79 ERA (three earned runs in 34 innings) since the trade.
Reds right-hander Anthony DeSclafani (6-4) picked up the loss after allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out five.
Cincinnati opened the scoring with a run in the first. Billy Hamilton ripped a leadoff double, advanced to third base on a single by Jose Peraza and scored on Ervin’s infield single.
In the bottom of the first, Rizzo clubbed a two-run homer to put Chicago on top 2-1. The blast marked his 21st homer of the season and his third in as many days.
Baez hit a solo shot in the third to push the Cubs’ lead to 3-1. The 25-year-old infielder has 27 home runs to go along with 93 RBIs, which leads the NL.
Rizzo made it 4-1 when he hit a sacrifice fly to center field in the fifth. He drove in Baez, who had doubled and stole third with one out.
The Cubs broke the game open with three more runs in the seventh. Ben Zobrist hit a run-scoring single to right field, and Victor Caratini singled three batters later to plate Zobrist and Rizzo.
Chicago improved to 53-26 in games when it homers this season.
—Field Level Media