Jon Lester shined with his arm and his bat as the Chicago Cubs cruised to a 10-4 victory over the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday afternoon.
Lester (9-6) posted a quality start by limiting the Pirates to three runs over 6 2/3 innings while striking out six and walking none. He also went 2-for-3 with his third career home run and three RBIs — one more than he had all season before Saturday.
Starling Marte homered twice to lead the Pirates.
Willson Contreras also homered for the Cubs, who scored the game’s first 10 runs. Jason Heyward went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles.
Pirates starter Jordan Lyles (5-6) recorded only two outs. He surrendered seven runs on four hits and four walks before manager Clint Hurdle removed him after 43 pitches.
Anthony Rizzo started the scoring with an RBI single to center field. Contreras then clubbed a three-run homer, his 19th of the season, to make it 4-0. Lester added a two-run single, and Javier Baez ripped an RBI double before the inning was over.
Lester helped himself again in the third when he belted a solo shot to left-center field to increase Chicago’s lead to 8-0. Teammates grinned from the dugout upon seeing the unlikely display of offense from the veteran southpaw, who entered the game with a career average of .100 (29-for-291) with only nine extra-base hits in 344 plate appearances.
Chicago made it 10-0 in the fourth on Addison Russell’s two-run single.
Pittsburgh snapped the shutout when Jung Ho Kang hit a solo homer to left field in the fifth. It was his ninth homer of the season and his fourth in the past 10 games.
Marte added a solo blast in the sixth, hitting Lester’s full-count fastball over the wall in left-center field.
An RBI groundout by Corey Dickerson in the seventh shaved Pittsburgh’s deficit to 10-3.
Marte struck again in the eighth to pull Pittsburgh within 10-4. It was his 15th homer, which is second on the club behind Josh Bell (27).
—Field Level Media