Baseball / MLB

Kris Bryant slugs three late homers as Cubs pound Nationals

AP, Reuters

Kris Bryant matched a career high with three home runs and drove in five as the Chicago Cubs routed the Washington Nationals 14-6 on Friday.

Albert Almora Jr., Kyle Schwarber and Willson Contreras also homered to help the NL Central-leading Cubs snap a two-game skid. Javier Baez extended the majors’ longest hitting streak to 15 games.

Bryant homered in the seventh, eighth and ninth, making him the 12th player to homer in three straight innings. He finished with four hits and extended his on-base streak to 26 games, a career best and the longest active run in the majors.

“It’s tied for first, I guess. I don’t know. The other (three-homer game) in Cincinnati was great. I had one more hit there,” Bryant said. “It was just a great night all around. Myself, a lot of the rest of us had great at-bats.”

Teammate Contreras also had four hits. Chicago starter Cole Hamels (4-0) won for the fourth time in five starts.

“We have seen him hit the ball consistently harder over the last two or three weeks,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of Bryant. “He looks like he (did) a couple of years ago, and he is also reacting with the same kind of confidence. It’s a good thing to watch right now.”

Max Scherzer (2-5) walked a season-high four and gave up a two-run homer to Almora in the second. Scherzer also struck out eight before exiting.

Dodgers 6, Reds 0

In Cincinnati, Cody Bellinger hit the last of Los Angeles’ four homers, Rich Hill stuck out a season-high 10 and the Dodgers won their fourth in a row.

Corey Seager, Joc Pederson and Max Muncy also homered at one of Los Angeles’ most comfortable road stops. The Dodgers are 34-22 at Great American Ball Park, the second-best mark by any NL team, trailing only the Mets’ 32-19 record.

Bellinger also had a double, raising his batting average to .410.

Diamondbacks 7, Giants 0

In Phoenix, Eduardo Escobar hit a three-run triple and David Peralta homered, lifting Arizona over San Francisco.

Peralta hit a solo homer off Jeff Samardzija (2-2) and Escobar cleared the bases with a slicing triple against Derek Holland in the seventh.

Adam Jones had a run-scoring double among his three hits to help Torey Lovullo win his 200th game as Arizona’s manager.

Merrill Kelly (4-4) worked around a high early pitch count in 5 1/3 scoreless innings after two shaky outings. He allowed six hits and struck out four.

Arizona reliever Yoshihisa Hirano worked 1 1/3 scoreless innings. He struck out two.

Angels 5, Royals 2

In Anaheim, Mike Trout singled, doubled, walked, stole a base and scored a run to lead Los Angeles’ balanced attack in a victory over Kansas City.

While Trout set the pace, he had plenty of help from his teammates. All nine hitters in the starting lineup reached base either by hit or walk, including seven who had at least one hit.

Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani went 1-for-4.

Yankees 4, Rays 3

In New York, CC Sabathia shouted salty insults at Tampa Bay and said he tried to hit one of the Rays’ batters, but both sides otherwise kept cool as the hosts rallied for three runs in the ninth inning and moved into first place in the AL East.

Gio Urshela singled over Kevin Kiermaier’s head in deep right-center field to drive home the winning run with two outs. Luke Voit homered on the first pitch from José Alvarado (0-3) in the bottom of the ninth to make it 3-2, and New York tied it when pinch runner Thairo Estrada scored on Alvarado’s bases-loaded wild pitch.

Astros 3, Red Sox 1

In Boston, George Springer hit his American League-leading 17th home run and Houston picked up its ninth straight victory by beating the Red Sox.

In Other Games

Athletics 7, Tigers 2

Blue Jays 10, White Sox 2

Marlins 8, Mets 6

Phillies 5, Rockies 4

Orioles 5, Indians 1

Rangers 7, Cardinals 3

Braves 12, Brewers 8

Twins 7, Mariners 1

Pirates 5, Padres 3