July 1, 2018 / 10:36 PM / 17 days ago

Lester homers as Cubs sweep Twins

Jon Lester homered and won his seventh consecutive start, and Ian Happ homered and had three hits as the Chicago Cubs completed a three-game sweep of the visiting Minnesota Twins with an 11-10 victory on Sunday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

It was the fourth straight game in which Chicago scored 10 or more runs, the first time since 1930 that the Cubs have accomplished that feat. Chicago, which has also won four in a row, scored 35 runs and belted out 46 hits in the three-game sweep of Minnesota, which lost for the ninth time in 11 games.

Lester (11-2) moved into the National League lead in wins. He left after five innings and throwing 100 pitches in sweltering 93-degree heat, allowing four runs (two earned) on nine hits while walking three and striking out five.

Lester, who gave up a long solo home run to Jake Cave in the top of the second, atoned in the bottom half. He smashed a three-run shot off Minnesota starter Lance Lynn (5-7) to give the Cubs a 3-1 lead and highlighting an eight-run inning for Chicago which sent 12 batters to the plate.

Lester lined a 3-2 fastball by Lynn an estimated 406 feet into the bleachers in left-center. It was his second career homer in nearly 300 at-bats.

Jorge Baez, who finished with three hits and two runs, had a two-run double, Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber each had RBI doubles and Wilson Contreras, who finished with three hits including a triple, added an RBI single in the in the seven-hit, eight-run inning. It was the third time this season Chicago scored at least eight runs in an inning. No other major league team has accomplished that feat more than once.

Lynn left after pitching just 1 2/3 innings, having allowed seven runs on five hits and three walks. Cave, who had three hits and two RBIs, Brian Dozier, who had two hits and scored three runs, and Mitch Garver, who finished with three hits and three RBIs, each homered for the Twins. Willians Astudillo, making his first major league start, added two hits, including a two-run triple.

The Cubs, who led 9-1 after four innings and 11-5 after six innings, needed to summon closer Brandon Morrow with two outs in the eighth after the Twins cut it to 11-10 on a two-run homer to left by Garver. Morrow ended the five-run inning by getting Cave to fly out to center.

The Twins got the tying run in scoring position in the ninth when Eddie Rosario lined a two-out single to center and advanced to second on a wild pitch. However, Eduardo Escobar, who had two hits, including his major-league-leading 34th double earlier in the game, grounded out to end the game as Morrow notched his first four-out save since 2008 and his 18th of the season.

—Field Level Media

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