The Chicago Cubs are piling up runs and wins. And they’re having some laughs along the way.
Kyle Schwarber hit two home runs, Ian Happ and Anthony Rizzo also went deep to back Jose Quintana, and the Cubs pounded the Pittsburgh Pirates 17-3 on Wednesday night.
Chicago tied a season high for runs set against Philadelphia on Saturday and banged out 20 hits to match its highest total since May 12, 2014, at St. Louis. The Cubs (72-60) outscored the Pirates 27-5 in a three-game sweep and moved 12 games above .500 for the first time this year. They also remained 3 1/2 games ahead of Milwaukee for the NL Central lead.
Rizzo hit his 31st homer, scored three runs and drove in two. Schwarber came through with his second multihomer game of the season, with two-run drives in the fifth and seventh.
Javier Baez became the first Cubs player in seven years to steal home .
Quintana (5-3) held Pittsburgh to three runs and four hits in six innings. He retired 14 in a row after giving up two runs in the first and also had an RBI single.
Limited Kids Brian Dawkins Jersey Nova (11-12) lasted just three innings in his shortest outing of the year, allowing five runs (four earned) and three hits after getting roughed up in Cincinnati last week.
Yeah, because I got stuck, Maldonado said, trying to explain what happened.
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Home plate umpire Angel Hernandez was emphatic with his out call on the play in the sixth inning, but Maldonado immediately pointed to manager Mike Scioscia for a replay challenge.
I wouldn’t have believed it, Scioscia said. But Martin did everything he could to avoid a tag and he got his hand in there.
Maldonado came home on Chris Young’s double that ricocheted awkwardly off the wall down the left-field line and avoided the attempted tag by fellow catcher Robinson Chirinos, putting the Angels up 5-1.
The Angels are 8-3 for the first time since 1987, and fourth time in Chris Kunitz Jersey franchise history. Shohei Ohtani, the rookie two-way standout who was chosen AL Player of the Week, didn’t play a day after striking out 12 in seven scoreless innings against Oakland.
Pujols led off the fourth with a line shot just inside the pole in left, his second homer this season and 1,923rd career RBI to break a tie with Jimmie Foxx for sole possession of ninth place on the all-time list. He later added a single for his 2,981st career hit.