EditorsNote: rewords sixth graf
Kris Bryant highlighted his four-hit performance with a homer, and he scored three runs as the visiting Chicago Cubs averted a four-game sweep with an 11-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday.
Robel Garcia, who was playing in his second career game, joined Willson Contreras in belting a homer among their three hits, and Albert Almora Jr. also went deep as the Cubs moved into a tie with Milwaukee atop the National League Central with 46-42 records.
Tempers flared in the fourth inning as Chicago manager Joe Maddon was ejected after All-Star shortstop Javier Baez was nearly hit by a pitch from Pittsburgh starter Jordan Lyles (5-5), who had surrendered three home runs. Maddon bolted out of the dugout and appeared to be yelling at Pirates manager Clint Hurdle before being tossed by plate umpire Joe West.
Jose Quintana (6-7) overcame a rocky start and retired the last 11 batters he faced to pick up his second straight win. He allowed three runs on six hits in seven innings, striking out six and walking one.
With the score tied at 2, Bryant belted a one-out double in the third inning before Contreras followed two batters later by launching a 1-1 slider from Lyles over the wall in left field for his 18th homer of the season.
Josh Bell halved the deficit with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third inning, but the Cubs erupted for five runs in the fifth inning to take a 9-3 lead.
Anthony Rizzo began the uprising with an RBI single to center field, then David Bote reached after he was hit by pitch from Clay Holmes with the bases loaded to give Chicago a 6-3 advantage. Pittsburgh recorded two outs at home before Kyle Schwarber walked with the bases loaded and Baez singled to left field to plate Almora and Quintana.
Chicago flexed its muscles early as Bryant deposited a first-pitch fastball from Lyles over the wall in right field in the first inning. Almora doubled the advantage in the second after sending a 2-0 fastball over the fence in center.
The Pirates tied it at 2 in the second inning as Jung Ho Kang plated Jose Osuna with a double to right-center field before scoring on Elias Diaz’s sacrifice fly.
—Field Level Media