Javier Baez homered and had four hits, Albert Almora Jr. also went deep and drove in six runs after coming off the bench in the seventh inning, and the Chicago Cubs routed the New York Mets 17-5 on Wednesday night at Wrigley Field.
Jon Lester (11-7) threw six solid innings to win his third straight start. The left-hander gave up two runs and six hits.
The Cubs matched a season high for runs after pouring on 12 over their final three at-bats. They have outscored the Mets 25-8 the past two games.
Chicago remained 2½ games ahead of the Brewers and moved 3 up on St. Louis in the NL Central.
Kris Bryant had three hits and scored four runs, and Ben Zobrist also scored four times. Willson Contreras had two hits and three RBIs for the Cubs, who took a 6-2 lead into the seventh before things really got out of hand.
Baez led off with a homer. Almora, who entered in the top half, added a three-run drive to make it 10-2, then hit a bases-loaded triple during a seven-run eighth.
Reds 6, Cardinals 0: Rookie Tyler Mahle threw five strong innings, Eugenio Suarez hit a grand slam, and Cincinnati won in St. Louis.
Jesse Winker added a home run, and Joey Votto had two hits and drove in a run for the Reds, who had lost four of their last five games.
Mahle (1-2) allowed four hits, striking out four and walking three in earning his first major league win. The right-hander, who was making his fourth career start, threw 100 pitches and was able to strand eight runners.
Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty (0-1), also a rookie right-hander, allowed three runs and four hits over 4 1/3 innings. He struck out three and walked two.
Winker, the Reds rookie right fielder, opened the game with his fifth homer of the season. He then ended the first inning with a diving catch that saved a run.
The Reds scored five runs in the fifth, all coming with two outs, and all coming after the third out of the inning was overturned upon replay review.
White Sox 5, Royals 3: Jose Abreu hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the ninth inning, and Chicago won a series in Kansas City for the first time since 2015.
Tim Anderson singled, went to second on a wild pitch by Scott Alexander (4-4), and stole third before scoring on Abreu’s fly ball. Avisail Garcia added an RBI single to make it 5-3.
Juan Minaya (3-2) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the win. Last-place Chicago took two of three at Kauffman Stadium, winning its first road series since June 16-18 and damaging the Royals’ wild-card hopes.
Adam Engel hit a two-run double for Chicago, which has won four of five. White Sox starter Lucas Giolito gave up only Salvador Perez’s solo homer in 6 1/3 innings.