Lackey deals, Rizzo leads offense as Cubs beat Bucs 7-1

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jameson Taillon delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs in Pittsburgh, Sunday, June 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jameson Taillon delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs in Pittsburgh, Sunday, June 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

PITTSBURGH — John Lackey and three relievers combined on a three-hitter, and Anthony Rizzo homered among his three hits to lead the Chicago Cubs past the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-1 on Sunday.

The defending World Series champions took two of three in Pittsburgh and improved to 34-34 this season.

Lackey (5-7) allowed two hits and struck out four over six innings. Carl Edwards Jr., Hector Rondon and Brian Duensing finished up for the Cubs.

Batting leadoff, Rizzo doubled and scored in the first, singled and scored in the third and hit a two-run homer in the seventh. The home run was Rizzo’s 16th of the year, surpassing Kris Bryant for the team lead.

Willson Contreras drove in three runs with a pair of doubles. John Jay had three hits with an RBI and scored twice.

The first four Chicago runs came against Jameson Taillon (3-2), who made his second start since returning from surgery to treat testicular cancer. Taillon gave up eight hits in five innings while striking out four.

Ian Happ added a solo homer in the ninth, his eighth of the season.

Jordy Mercer homered leading off the fifth for the Pirates.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cubs: RF Jason Heyward exited in the fourth inning with a left hand abrasion. Heyward injured himself attempting to play a ball in foul territory in the second. He attempted to stay in the game after getting it taped up and popped out at the plate in the third. . SS Addison Russell did not start to rest a sore right ankle. Russell hurt it running the bases on Saturday.

Pirates: RHP Juan Nicasio didn’t pitch for the second consecutive game. “He felt a little something,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “We just wanted to calm it down so he can get back out there.” . C Chris Stewart was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list and C Jacob Stallings was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. Stewart had been out since May 30 with a left hamstring strain.

UP NEXT

Cubs: Return home for a three-game series against San Diego beginning Monday night. Jon Lester (4-4, 3.89 ERA) will face former Cubs pitcher Clayton Richard. Chicago is 20-15 at Wrigley Field this season.

Pirates: Travel to Milwaukee for a four-game series with the Brewers that starts Monday night. Gerrit Cole (4-6, 4.54) will try to build off his last outings, a seven-inning effort that snapped a streak of four straight appearances of five innings or less.

COMMENTS