Anthony Rizzo homered among his three hits to lead Chicago to a 7-1 victory over the Pirates Sunday at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. The defending World Series champions took two of three in Pittsburgh and improved to 34-34.
Rizzo opened the game with a double and scored in the first inning. He singled and scored in the third, then hit a two-run homer in the seventh. The home run was Rizzo's 16th of the year, surpassing Kris Bryant for the team lead.
Since manager Joe Maddon moved Rizzo to the leadoff spot last Tuesday, he's hitting .409 with three home runs and two doubles in five games.
Cubs starter John Lackey (5-7) allowed two hits and struck out four over six innings.
Carl Edwards Jr., Hector Rondon and Brian Duensing completed the three-hitter for the Cubs.
Willson Contreras drove in three runs with a pair of doubles, and John Jay had three hits with an RBI and scored twice. Ian Happ added a solo homer in the ninth, his eighth of the season.
The first four Chicago runs came against Jameson Taillon (3-2), who made his second start since returning from surgery to treat testicular cancer. Taillon gave up eight hits in five innings while striking out four.
Jordy Mercer homered leading off the fifth for Pittsburgh.
The Cubs return home for a three-game series against San Diego beginning Monday night. Jon Lester (4-4, 3.89 ERA) will face former Cubs pitcher Clayton Richard. Chicago is 20-15 at Wrigley Field this season.
>>Orioles Hold Off Cardinals
Ubaldo Jimenez was stellar in his first start since May 22, Mark Trumbo homered for the second consecutive day and the Orioles took a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals with a 8-5 victory Sunday.
Jimenez (2-2) has struggled most of the season and relinquished his starting role to Alec Asher, who also failed to hold down the job. Jimenez will likely stay in the rotation after allowing just two runs on four hits with three strikeouts and two walks over seven innings.
Seth Smith and Trey Mancini homered to start the first and second innings, respectively, for Baltimore. Welington Castillo also had a solo shot in the fifth that gave the Orioles a 7-2 lead.
Brad Brach picked up his 12th save for Baltimore.
Dexter Fowler homered for the fourth consecutive game with a two-run shot in the eighth, and three batters later, Yadier Molina had solo home run that pulled the Cardinals to 8-5.
Stephen Piscotty also hit a pair of solo homers for the Cardinals, who have lost five of six.
St. Louis' Lance Lynn (5-4) allowed seven runs and nine hits with five strikeouts and a career-high four home runs over 4 2/3 innings.
Manny Machado's RBI single in the sixth gave Baltimore an 8-2 lead.
Mike Leake (5-6, 3.14) is looking to snap a four-game losing streak when he starts the series opener Tuesday against Phillies RHP Jeremy Hellickson (5-5, 4.91).
>>Blue Jays Down White Sox
Russell Martin hit a game-tying homer in the sixth inning to help rally the Toronto Blue Jays to a 7-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.
Ryan Goins' first triple of the season two batters later drove in the winning run.
The win snapped Chicago's three-game winning streak and prevented the White Sox from tying a club record with a seventh consecutive win at Rogers Centre. The White Sox have won nine of the last 11 games and the last four series against the Blue Jays.
Kendrys Morales added a monster home run in the bat-around seventh, a moon shot into the fourth deck of Rogers Centre to give the Blue Jays their 27th multi-home run game of the season. Toronto is 19-8 in those games.
J.A. Happ (2-4) picked up his first home win of the season. In his second-longest start, the left-hander giving up eight hits over 6 2/3 innings while striking out nine. Roberto Osuna worked the ninth.
In his first start since April 16, Shields lasted 5 2/3 innings, giving up seven hits and three runs, including the two-run shot from Martin that ended his afternoon. Anthony Swarzak (3-2) took the loss.
Melky Cabrera singled and doubled for his seventh multi-hit effort in the last 11 games, while Jose Abreu drove in two runs to extend his hit streak to seven games, marking the fifth consecutive game he has registered at least one RBI.
After a day off, Chicago will open a three-game series in Minnesota on Tuesday with a matchup between LHP Derek Holland (5-6, 3.79) and RHP Ervin Santana (8-4, 2.56).
>>White Sox Place SP Gonzalez on DL, Rodon Close To Return
Prior to Sunday's game, Chicago placed RHP Miguel Gonzelez on the 10-day DL, retroactive to June 15, with inflammation in his right shoulder.
Gonzalez was 4-8 with a 5.49 ERA over 13 starts.
The White Sox reinstated Shields from the DL after three rehab starts with Triple-A Charlotte.
LHP Carlos Rodon, out all season with left biceps bursitis, successfully came through his third rehab starts at Charlotte on Saturday. Manager Rick Renteria wants him to have one more start in the minors before making any moves.