Jake Arrieta won consecutive starts for the first time since early April, Javier Baez and Ian Happ hit consecutive home runs in the eighth inning and the Chicago Cubs beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-2 on Sunday.
Bryant put the Cubs ahead when he scored from second on a wild pitch from Zack Godley in the first inning on strike three to Victor Caratini. The reigning NL MVP added his 21st homer in the ninth inning, reaching for the 13th time in 15 plate appearances during the three-game series.
Chicago grabbed the rubber game of its weekend series in Arizona to take a one-game lead over the second-place Cardinals. St. Louis lost 6-3 to Atlanta, ending an eight-game winning streak.
Paul Goldschmidt hit his 28th homer in the ninth, but Arizona, bidding for an NL wild card, lost for the sixth time in eight games.
Arrieta (12-8) allowed one run and three hits in six innings. Coming off a 5-3 win over San Francisco.
Godley (5-5) had three wild pitches and four walks in 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs and four hits while striking out eight. He struck out four in the first inning, the first Diamondbacks pitcher to fan four in a frame since Oliver Perez in September 2014.
Baez's three-run homer off Jake Barrett, a drive into the second deck in left, came after an intentional walk to Jason Heyward and put the Cubs ahead 5-1. Happ, pinch-hitting for Carl Edwards Jr., homered three pitches later.
Jose Quintana (2-2) starts for the Cubs on Monday in the opener of a four-game series against Cincinnati. The Reds are one of four teams Quintana has yet to face.
>>Royals Down White Sox
Whit Merrifield hit a three-run homer and drove in a career-high five runs, and the Kansas City Royals pounded the Chicago White Sox 14-6 on Sunday.
Drew Butera had four of Kansas City's 16 hits, helping the Royals climb back over .500 at 59-58. Jorge Bonifacio hit his 15th homer, and Lorenzo Cain had two hits and two RBIs.
Merrifield needed a double for the cycle when he came to the plate with the bases loaded in the eighth inning. But he popped out on a shallow foul ball to right fielder Avisail Garcia.
Jason Vargas (14-6) worked six innings to match his career high for wins set in 2012 with Seattle. The left-hander allowed three runs and six hits, struck out seven and walked two.
The Royals won the last two games of the weekend set after dropping five in a row and 10 of 12. They remain in the mix for the second AL wild card.
Tim Anderson hit a two-run homer for AL-worst Chicago, and Garcia added a two-run double.
White Sox left-hander Derek Holland (6-12) lasted just two-plus innings in his shortest start of the year. He was charged with seven runs and seven hits.
Kansas City grabbed control with four runs in the second and four more in the third. Bonifacio led off the third with a drive to left and Merrifield made it 8-0 when he went deep against Mike Pelfrey.
Miguel Gonzalez (6-10, 4.85 ERA) faces Dodgers LHP Alex Wood (14-1, 2.37 ERA) on Tuesday in Los Angeles. Wood has won three straight since his only loss this season.
>>Braves Double Up Cardinals
Brandon Phillips hit a two-run homer to back R.A. Dickey, and the Atlanta Braves stopped the Cardinals' season-high, eight-game winning streak with a 6-3 victory Sunday.
Phillips connected in the fifth for his 10th home run this season and the 17th of his career against St. Louis. Phillips is still booed by Cardinals fans for his part of a bench-clearing brawl when he played for Cincinnati in 2010.
Dickey (8-7) allowed one run and seven hits in seven innings. The 42-year-old knuckleballer has given up one or no earned runs in eight of 23 starts.
Atlanta stopped a five-game losing streak, beat the Cardinals for the first time in six meetings this year and avoided getting swept in the season series for the first time.
Arodys Vizcaino pitched a perfect ninth for his first save since Aug. 5 and his sixth in eight tries.
Michael Wacha (9-5) gave up four runs and five hits in eight innings, just the second time in 10 starts he has allowed four or more earned runs.
Mike Leake (7-10) starts at Boston in the opener of a six-game trip. Leake last pitched at Fenway Park on May 7, 2014, allowing two runs over seven innings in a no-decision.