Contreras, Lackey lead Cubs to 5th win in a row

ATLANTA (AP) — Willson Contreras hit a three-run homer, John Lackey earned his first win in a month and the Chicago Cubs won their fifth straight game with a 5-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night.

Rain delayed the start of the game for 2 hours, 30 minutes.

The defending World Series champion Cubs moved three games over .500 for the first time since winning at Miami on June 6. Chicago is 2½ games behind NL Central-leading Milwaukee.

The Cubs went up 4-1 in the third on Javier Baez’s 11th homer and Contreras’ 13th homer, a three-run shot . Chicago led 5-1 in the sixth on Ben Zobrist’s groundout.

Lackey (6-9) came off the disabled list to allow one run, five hits and two walks in five innings. He struck out one. The 38-year-old showed no ill effects from plantar fasciitis in his right foot and won for the first time since June 18 at Pittsburgh, a stretch of four starts.

The Braves have dropped two straight after sweeping three games from Arizona.

Atlanta began the night 18-11 since June 2, tied with Houston for the second-best record in the majors. But the Braves’ offense mostly sputtered against Lackey, getting only a solo homer from Nick Markakis in the second.

It was the 25th homer allowed by Lackey, most in the NL.

Sean Newcomb (1-5) lost his third straight start, allowing five runs, eight hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings. The left-hander struck out five.