CHICAGO — Jon Lester hit his first major league homer and struck out nine to reach 2,000 for his career, helping the Chicago Cubs pound the Arizona Diamondbacks 16-4 on Tuesday night.
Anthony Rizzo went deep twice and Ian Happ and Javier Baez also connected as Chicago kicked off a six-game homestand with its 14th win in 17 games since the All-Star break. Rizzo, Baez and Albert Almora Jr. each drove in three runs, and Kris Bryant and Willson Contreras had two RBIs apiece.
The NL Central leaders rapped out 17 hits in their highest-scoring game of the season and stayed 2 1/2 games ahead of second-place Milwaukee.
With two outs and Happ on first in the third, Lester drove a 2-2 pitch from Patrick Corbin over the wall in center to make it 8-1. The crowd of 40,709 roared as
Lester trotted around the bases and kept cheering until he popped out of the dugout for a curtain call.