Szczur hits grand slam, Lester fans 10 as Cubs beat Braves

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CHICAGO  — Matt Szczur hit his first career grand slam during a five-run eighth inning and the Chicago Cubs broke away from the Atlanta Braves 6-1 Friday.

Jon Lester struck out 10 over seven innings as the Cubs improved to 17-5, their top 22-game start since the 1907 team was 18-4.

In a matchup of the clubs with the best and worst records in the majors, the Braves fell to 5-18.

It was 1-all in the eighth when the Cubs loaded the bases on two hits and a walk against Jim Johnson (0-3). Lefty Eric O’Flaherty relieved and gave up Anthony Rizzo’s go-ahead single with one out.

Szczur then followed by launching a pitch from Chris Withrow over the left field wall.

Freddie Freeman’s solo shot in the fourth was only the Braves’ fifth home run of the season.

Pedro Strop (1-0) pitched a perfect eighth.