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Jon Lester stars on mound and at plate for Cubs

UPDATED: Sun., July 1, 2018, 9:01 p.m.

Chicago Cubs' Jon Lester hits a three-run home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins, Sunday, July 1, 2018, in Chicago. (Matt Marton / AP)
Chicago Cubs' Jon Lester hits a three-run home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins, Sunday, July 1, 2018, in Chicago. (Matt Marton / AP)

CHICAGO – Jon Lester hit a three-run homer in an eight-run second inning and wound up with his NL-leading 11th victory in the Chicago Cubs’ 11-10 win over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.

Ian Happ also homered for the Cubs. They have scored at least 10 runs in four straight games for the first time since 1930. Chicago swept the three-game series and has won four in a row overall.

Lester (11-2) allowed four runs, two of them earned, and nine hits in five-plus innings.

Javier Baez, who doubled twice, Happ and Willson Contreras each had three hits.

Mitch Garver hit a two-run homer off reliever Dillon Maples in the Twins’ five-run eighth.

Cubs closer Brandon Morrow got one out in the eighth and pitched a scoreless ninth for his 18th save in 19 chances. Lance Lynn (5-7) was the loser.

Brian Dozier hit a two-run homer and Jake Cave also homered for the Twins.

RAYS 3, ASTROS 2

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Blake Snell struck out 10, reliever Diego Castillo fanned Jose Altuve in a key spot and Tampa Bay beat Houston to end a homestand.

The Rays went 8-1 at Tropicana Field, taking three of four from the World Series champion Astros, sweeping three from the New York Yankees and winning both games against Washington. Tampa Bay set a team record by allowing no more than two runs in its sixth straight game.

Matt Duffy hit a two-out, two-run single in the seventh inning that put the Rays ahead 2-1 and Mallex Smith homered in the eighth. Evan Gattis homered twice for Houston.

Snell (11-4) allowed one run and four hits in 7 1/3 innings.

Charlie Morton (10-2) struck out 11 in 6 2/3 innings.

DODGERS 6, ROCKIES 4

LOS ANGELES – Matt Kemp had three hits and drove in four runs, including a go-ahead homer leading off the eighth inning that rallied Los Angeles past Colorado to prevent a sweep.

Kemp sent his 14th homer of the season over the center-field wall off Adam Ottavino (4-2) to put Los Angeles ahead 5-4. It was the Dodgers’ first homer of July after they hit a major league-leading and franchise-record 55 in June.

One out later, Yasiel Puig doubled and Joc Pederson followed and reached on an infield single to second. Puig ran hard into third and hopped back and forth before taking off for the plate, sliding belly first. He got up and swung his arms in wild celebration with the Dodgers ahead 6-4.

Kemp drove in the Dodgers’ first three runs with an RBI groundout in the first, a double in the third and a single in the fifth.

Daniel Hudson (3-2) went one inning. Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for his 22nd save.

Nolan Arenado hit his 21st homer and had an RBI grounder for the Rockies.

GIANTS 9, DIAMONDBACKS 6

PHOENIX – Brandon Belt and Joe Panik drove in two runs each and Hunter Pence had a pinch-hit, two-run double, leading San Francisco to a series sweep against Arizona.

The Giants had 11 hits in the first five innings and cruised to their seventh win in eight games.

A four-run fifth inning highlighted by Pence’s double off reliever Silvino Bracho gave the Giants an 8-3 lead. Cory Gearrin (1-1) got one out in the fourth to earn the win in relief of starter Derek Holland.

The Giants tagged Diamondbacks starter Zack Godley (9-6) for seven runs on nine hits in four-plus innings, ending his four-game winning streak.

Arizona rallied with two runs in the seventh on Paul Goldschmidt’s 18th home run of the season, and Jarrod Dyson became the eighth player in team history to record at least two hits, two runs batted in and two stolen bases in a single game. The Diamondbacks brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth with two outs, but Will Smith struck out Jake Lamb for Smith’s second save.

ORIOLES 8, ANGELS 2

BALTIMORE – Manny Machado and Mark Trumbo hit consecutive homers after the Angels lost a popup in the sun, and Baltimore beat Los Angeles to end a seven-game losing streak.

After the Orioles took charge with a six-run fourth inning, Trumbo homered again in the fifth and Trey Mancini also connected to help Baltimore secure its only victory during a seven-game homestand that began with four straight losses to Seattle. The Orioles improved to 1-15 against the AL West and won at home for only the second time in 19 games since May 13.

Kevin Gausman (4-6) weathered temperatures in the upper 90s to go eight innings, allowing two runs and six hits to end a run of eight straight winless starts.

Kole Calhoun homered and Albert Pujols drove in a run for the Angels.

Deck McGuire (0-1) was the loser.

MARINERS 1, ROYALS 0

SEATTLE – James Paxton limited Kansas City to two hits and struck out 11 in eight innings and Seattle beat the Royals for its season-best seventh consecutive victory.

Paxton (8-2) also allowed two walks. From Ladner, British Columbia, pitched on Canada Day – and his bobblehead day at Safeco Field. Edwin Diaz struck out the side in the ninth for his 32nd save.

Kansas City rookie Brad Keller (2-3) allowed six hits in eight innings. He allowed only one extra-base hit, Kyle Seager’s double in the seventh inning.

The only run came in the second inning. Ben Gamel dropped a broken-bat single into shallow center to score Kyle Seager from second base.

INDIANS 15, ATHLETICS 3

OAKLAND, Calif. – Francisco Lindor homered and hit two of Cleveland’s 11 doubles and the Indians ended Oakland’s six-game winning streak.

Edwin Encarnacion also homered and Jose Ramirez, Yonder Alonso and Lonnie Chisenhall each added two doubles. The Indians nearly matched the team record of 12 doubles set against Minnesota in 1996.

Alonso had four hits and three RBIs. Cleveland broke open the game with an eight-run eighth inning – its first 10 batters reached without an out.

Mike Clevinger (7-3) allowed three runs over six uneven innings as the AL Central leaders avoided a sweep. The Indians were outscored 10-3 in the first two games of the series and were on the verge of being swept for the second time this season before breaking out against A’s starter Frankie Montas (4-2).

WHITE SOX 10, RANGERS 5

ARLINGTON, Texas – Matt Davidson hit a two-run double in his second straight three-hit game to lead Chicago past Texas.

Avisail Garcia had four hits,and Davidson and Jose Abreu drove in three runs apiece to help the White Sox avoid a sweep to start a 10-game road trip, their longest of the season.

Texas’ Shin-Soo Choo extended the majors’ longest on-base streak this season to 42 games. He returned after missing a game with a strained right quadriceps that the club said will limit him defensively for a few weeks. He was 0 for 4 as the designated hitter with an eighth-inning walk that kept alive the third-longest streak in club history, and longest since 1995. Choo’s 12-game hitting streak ended.

Reynaldo Lopez (4-5) made it through 6 1/3 innings in the boiling Texas heat. One-time Texas closer Joakim Soria got five outs for his 12th save. Cole Hamels (4-7) was the loser.

PHILLIES 4, NATIONALS 3 (13)

PHILADELPHIA – Pinch-hitter Andrew Knapp homered just inside the right-field foul pole in the 13th inning to lift Philadelphia past Washington.

The Philles took three of four in the series, with all the wins by one run.

The Nationals are 6-15 in their past 21 games.

Knapp turned on Justin Miller’s fastball and lofted it into the bleachers in right field. Miller (5-1) gave up the run in 1 1/3 innings of work. Nick Pivetta (5-7) got the win with a scoreless inning.

REDS 8, BREWERS 2

CINCINNATI – Jose Peraza kept up Cincinnati’s parade of grand slams, sending Matt Harvey and the Reds over NL Central-leading Milwaukee.

Peraza connected in the sixth inning for the Reds’ ninth slam this year, tying the season franchise record set in 2002. It was Cincinnati’s second in two games and third in the last eight – pitcher Mike Lorenzen had a pinch-hit slam Saturday, and pitcher Anthony DeSclafani went deep with the bases loaded on June 24 against the Cubs. The last-place Reds have won 11 of 14, and the last eight of 11 against teams that were in first place when their series started.

Harvey (4-5) allowed two hits in 5 2/3 innings and won his third straight start.

Peraza hit his first career slam, tagging reliever Aaron Wilkerson.

Freddy Peralta (3-1) took the loss.

METS 5, MARLINS 2

MIAMI – Steven Matz and three relievers combined on a four-hitter and New York beat Miami to escape the NL East cellar after a one-day stay.

The Mets, who endured their worst June ever, won for only the second time in the past 12 games.

Matz (4-5) pitched 5 1/3 innings and allowed only an unearned run. He also singled for his first RBI of the year. New York’s bullpen leads the majors in losses but limited Miami to one hit in the final 3 2/3 innings. Jeurys Familia pitched a perfect ninth for his 15th save.

Asdrubal Cabrera hit his 14th homer off Dan Straily (3-4). Todd Frazier had two hits and scored three times, and Kevin Plawecki doubled home New York’s first run.

Matz was 2 for 26 this year before his two-out RBI single in the fourth put the Mets ahead 3-0.

BRAVES 6, CARDINALS 5

ST. LOUIS – Mike Foltynewicz threw five shutout innings and Freddie Freeman homered in Atlanta’s victory over St. Louis.

Foltynewicz (6-4) gave up one hit – a fourth-inning single to Marcell Ozuna. He struck out nine and walked three in an 86-pitch outing. John Gant (2-3) took the loss.

A.J. Minter picked up his third save in as many tries by setting the side down in order in the ninth.

The Braves outscored St. Louis 22-10 in sweeping a three-game series in St. Louis for first time since May 11-13, 2012. Tommy Pham homered for St. Louis.

TIGERS 9, BLUE JAYS 1

TORONTO – Nick Castellanos hit his fourth career grand slam, Jordan Zimmermann pitched seven strong innings and Detroit beat Toronto to snap an 11-game losing streak.

JaCoby Jones hit a two-run homer to help the Tigers win for the first time since June 17.

Niko Goodrum had four hits and Jose Iglesias had two hits and two RBIs for Detroit.

Zimmermann (3-0) allowed one run and five hits in his third start since returning from a shoulder injury that caused him to miss more than a month.

Iglesias chased Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ (10-4) with a two-out, two-run single in the sixth.

Wearing red jerseys and caps for Canada Day, the Blue Jays couldn’t deliver a win for the holiday crowd of 37,445.

PIRATES 7, PADRES 5

SAN DIEGO – Colin Moran hit his second grand slam of the season and Corey Dickerson and Elias Diaz also homered in Pittsburgh’s victory over San Diego.

Moran connected off Tyson Ross (5-6) with two outs in the fifth to put the Pirates ahead 6-3. He also hit a grand slam April 2 in a 5-4 victory against Minnesota

Kyle Crick (1-1) pitched 1 1/3 innings for the win. Felipe Vazquez worked the ninth for his 17th save.

YANKEES 11, RED SOX 1

NEW YORK – Aaron Hicks hit three home runs and the New York Yankees pummeled David Price again, connecting five times in the first four innings on the way to a rout of the Boston Red Sox.

Luis Severino became the first 13-game winner in the majors, cruising through 6 2/3 shutout innings of two-hit ball after the Bronx Bombers quickly built him a big cushion. With the teams trading blowouts all weekend, the Yankees (54-27) took two of three from their longtime rivals to regain baseball’s best record and first place in the AL East.

Batting leadoff against a left-hander, Hicks homered twice from the right side of the plate and once from the left. He smacked a two-run shot to right field in the second inning and a solo drive to center in the fourth that chased Price (9-6) and made it 8-0.


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