Christopher Morel, Cody Bellinger and Dansby Swanson each hit solo homers in the third inning, and the Chicago Cubs snapped a three-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.
Swanson added two singles and Kyle Hendricks tossed 5 2/3 effective innings to help Chicago (77-67) strengthen its hold on the second NL wild card spot and close to within three of first-place Milwaukee in the NL Central.
Arizona’s four-game winning streak ended, but the Diamondbacks (75-69) remained in the third wild-card spot. Arizona held the Cubs to just four runs in winning the first three games of the series.
Morel hit his 21st homer, Bellinger his 25th and Swanson his 20th off rookie right-hander Brandon Pfaadt, who was originally scheduled to start the game.
Pfaadt, however, entered in the third as Arizona’s second reliever after manager Tory Lovullo turned to left-hander Joe Mantiply as an opener.
And the Cubs teed off on Pfaadt.
Swanson finished with two RBIs and Seiya Suzuki doubled in a run for the Cubs. Morel also tripled.
Seby Zavala had two hits an RBI in his first game with the Diamondbacks. The catcher was claimed off waivers from the White Sox on Wednesday.
Hendricks (6-7) allowed two runs on seven hits, while striking out four. The right-hander exited after 82 pitches with two outs in the sixth after issuing his only walk.
Four relievers followed, with Julian Merryweather pitching the ninth for this first save.
Chicago took a 1-0 lead in the first, with Suzuki’s ground-rule double driving in Nico Hoerner. Morel led off with a triple, but was caught between third and home and tagged out following Hoerner’s comebacker.
Morel atoned with his homer, a shot to left off Pfaadt to start the third that made it 2-0.
Three hitters later, Bellinger launched a towering shot to right against a strong wind. Swanson cracked a 1-2 pitch deep into the left-center bleachers as the Cubs hit back-to-back homers for the ninth time this season.
Zavala’s RBI single in the fifth cut it to 4-1, but Swanson knocked in his second run of the game in the bottom half.
Alek Thomas cut it to 5-2 in the sixth with a sac fly.
Cubs LHP Jordan Wicks (3-0, 2.16) starts at Colorado on Monday night. Wicks has won his first three major-league starts after being called from the minors on Aug. 26. The Rockies had not yet named a starter.