PHOENIX – Yu Darvish settled down after a shaky start.
He got some help from David Bote.
Darvish pitched six effective innings and Bote homered twice, leading the Chicago Cubs to a 9-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night.
Anthony Rizzo also connected for the Cubs, who won for the fourth time in six games. Rizzo finished with three hits and scored three times.
Darvish (2-3) struck out eight in his longest outing of the season. The four-time All-Star allowed two hits and walked four while throwing 110 pitches.
Arizona came up empty after loading the bases with one out in the first and putting two runners on in the second. David Peralta’s leadoff drive to center in the sixth accounted for the Diamondbacks’ only run of the game.
“First two (innings) were rough, but after that I felt pretty good about command,” Darvish said. “The last hitter in the second inning, I threw a split (finger) to him, and that gave me a good feeling for every pitch.”
Bote capped Chicago’s five-run third with a massive three-run shot to left off Zack Godley (1-2). He added a two-run drive in the fifth against Matt Koch.
Two innings later, with the Cubs leading 8-1, Bote was hit in the shoulder area with a high fastball from Koch, prompting both dugouts and bullpens to empty. The field was cleared after a short delay and play resumed without further incident.
“It’s hard to be not caught up in reaction there,” Bote said. “I thought better of it and tried to de-escalate the situation instead of escalate it. But it’s all good. There’s no hard feelings.”
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said his team doesn’t play “old-school baseball” in terms of hitting someone on purpose.
“Just because somebody hits two home runs, we do not throw at batters. He deserved to hit two home runs,” Lovullo said. “So by no means did we throw at him. I don’t believe in that part of the game.”
Godley lasted just 2⅔ innings in his shortest start since August 2016. He was charged with five runs and four hits.
“Honestly, I just couldn’t throw strikes,” Godley said.
Arizona turned to catcher Caleb Joseph to pitch the ninth inning, and he retired the Cubs in order.
Brewers 8, Mets 6
In New York, Christian Yelich hit his major league-leading 14th home run, tying the record for most before May 1, to lift Milwaukee over the Mets.
Yelich’s fourth-inning homer off Noah Syndergaard (1-3) was the first on the road this season for the NL MVP. Yelich had three hits, a walk and two RBIs, raising his average to .350.
His 14 homers matched Albert Pujols (2006) and Alex Rodriguez (2007) for the most through the first full month of the season.
“That’s pretty cool. Obviously, those guys are pretty good baseball players,” Yelich said. “I haven’t really been thinking about it too much. Just head down, grinding. To be up there with those guys is definitely an honor.”
Yelich is batting .362 with 39 homers, 101 RBIs and 16 stolen bases in 93 games since last season’s All-Star break.
“You enjoy watching players like this,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “I guess when you see a guy do it a lot, you lose some of the surprise.”
Blue Jays 7, Athletics 1
In Toronto, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts in his second big league game, Brandon Drury had three hits a day after his game-winning ninth-inning home run and the Blue Jays improved to 5-0 against Oakland this season. Randal Grichuk and three hits and two RBIs.
Six days after leaving a last start with a broken fingernail, Aaron Sanchez (3-1) gave up an unearned run and two hits in five inning
Brett Anderson (3-2) allowed six runs and 10 hits in 4⅓ innings, dropping to 0-3 in his career against Toronto.
Anderson became the first pitcher to face Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Vladimir Guerrero Sr., who was 1-for-5 against him.
Yankees 6, Giants 4
In San Francisco, Gary Sanchez hit his first career grand slam in a five-run fifth inning for his first hit following nearly two weeks on the injured list, and New York beat the Giants for its 10th win in 12 games.
Sánchez had been 0-for-9 with seven strikeouts since returning Wednesday from a strained left calf. His batting average down to .220, he crushed a high sinker from Derek Holland (1-4) that traveled deep into the left-field seats to make the score 6-0.
In Other Games
Astros 4, Indians 3
Rays 2, Red Sox 1
Twins 9, Orioles 2
Rangers 15, Mariners 1
Royals 9, Angels 4
Tigers at White Sox — ppd.
Cardinals 6, Reds 3
Rockies 9, Braves 5
Dodgers 3, Pirates 1
Padres 8, Nationals 3
Phillies 12, Marlins 9
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5