Russell’s 2-run single in 7th lifts Cubs over Giants 5-4

CHICAGO  — Addison Russell hit a two-run single with the bases loaded in the seventh inning, and the Chicago Cubs beat the San Francisco Giants 5-4 on Thursday night.

The Cubs spoiled a shaky Jeff Samardzija’s return to Wrigley Field and started September on a winning note after going 22-6 to match the 1932 team for the best August in franchise history.

The major league leaders also moved a season-high 39 games over .500 and a jaw-dropping 15 1/2 games ahead of St. Louis in the NL Central — their largest lead in the standings since the 1907 team finished 17 games ahead of Pittsburgh, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.