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Lester homers, drives in 3, pitches Cubs past Pirates 10-4

By MATT CARLSON

Associated Press

CHICAGO — Jon Lester homered, tied a career high with three RBIs and pitched effectively into the seventh inning to lead the Chicago Cubs past the Pittsburgh Pirates 10-4 on Saturday.

All-Star catcher Willson Contreras’ three-run homer and Lester’s two-run single off the left-field wall were the big hits in the Cubs’ seven-run first inning.

The 35-year-old left-hander connected for his third career home run — all with the Cubs at Wrigley Field — for the NL Central leaders.

Lester (9-6) allowed three runs on eight hits, while striking out six and walking none in 6 2/3 innings.

Addison Russell drove in two runs as the Cubs won for the fourth time in five games.

Starling Marte hit a pair of solo shots to give him three homers in two days in Chicago. Jung Ho Kang launched a long solo homer.

Chicago sent 12 batters to the plate in the first and chased Pittsburgh starter Jordan Lyles (5-6) after only two outs.

Anthony Rizzo beat a shift with a dribbling RBI single to left to start the scoring before Contreras hit his 19th homer to the basket in right-center. After Lester drove in two more, Javier B·ez added an RBI double.

Lyles yielded seven runs on four hits and four walks before being replaced by Chris Stratton.

Lester’s homer to left made it 8-0 in the third. Russell singled in two runs in the fourth to open it to 10-0.