Nicholas Castellanos homered and drove in four runs, and the Cubs celebrated the return of Willson Contreras and Ben Zobrist by topping the Seattle Mariners 6-1 on Tuesday night.
Jon Lester (12-9) escaped three bases-loaded jams while working six innings in his second straight win, helping Chicago stay three games back of NL Central-leading St. Louis. The Cubs also remained 2 1/2 games ahead of Philadelphia for the second NL wild card.
Daniel Vogelbach's pinch-hit RBI single in the eighth accounted for Seattle's only run in its fourth loss in five games.
The Cubs played without All-Stars Kris Bryant and Javier Baez due to injuries. Bryant was scratched due to right knee soreness, and Baez missed his second straight game with a jammed left thumb.
Zobrist led off the fifth with a bunt single. Schwarber then singled before Castellanos drove Wade LeBlanc's pitch deep to right , giving the Cubs a 5-0 lead.
Castellanos has 12 homers and 24 RBIs in 31 games since he was acquired in a trade with Detroit on July 31. It was his 23rd homer overall this year.
Following an off day, LHP Jose Quintana (12-8, 3.90 ERA) and Brewers RHP Chase Anderson (6-4, 4.58 ERA) meet again Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series in Milwaukee. Quintana tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings in the Cubs' 7-1 victory over Anderson and the Brewers on Friday.