Bryant’s 2 HRs lead Cubs to sweep of Pirates

Bryant’s 2 HRs lead Cubs to sweep of Pirates

Kris Bryant went 3-for-5 with a pair of home runs and four RBIs, and the Chicago Cubs cruised to a 16-6 win over the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates to complete a three-game sweep Sunday afternoon.

Bryant hit a three-run homer in the first inning and a solo shot in the third to give him 31 on the season. Ian Happ, Kyle Schwarber and Jonathan Lucroy also homered for Chicago (81-68), which tallied double digits in all three games of the series and outscored the Pirates 47-15. The win also allowed the Cubs to maintain their hold on the second wild-card spot in the National League.

Pablo Reyes went 2-for-5 with three RBIs in a losing effort for Pittsburgh (65-85), which dropped to 5-11 against the Cubs this season.

Cubs reliever Brad Wieck (1-1) struck out two in 2/3 innings of relief and was credited with the win, the first of his career. He was one of five relievers who helped to bail out starter Jose Quintana, who gave up five runs on eight hits in 2 1/3 innings.

Pirates starter Trevor Williams (7-7) also lasted only 2 1/3 innings. He gave up seven runs on six hits and three walks while striking out none.

Bryant set the tone during the bottom of the first with a three-run shot into the left field bleachers. It was his 137th career homer, which moved him past Ernie Banks (136) for the most homers by a Cubs player in his first five seasons.

Pittsburgh rallied for five runs in the top of the third to chase Quintana. Reyes had a two-run single while Kevin Newman, Bryan Reynolds and Colin Moran notched one RBI apiece.

The Cubs answered with five runs in the bottom of the third to regain an 8-5 lead. Bryant padded his career homer total with No. 138 before Victor Caratini added a sacrifice fly and Tony Kemp added a two-run triple. Kemp then scored on an errant pickoff attempt at third base by pitcher Michael Feliz.

Chicago added two runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth to put the game out of reach.

Jason Heyward had an RBI single in the sixth, and Schwarber belted a two-run blast in the seventh.

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo left the game in the third after spraining his right ankle while trying to field a bunt. The team announced that initial X-Rays showed no fracture. Rizzo will undergo an MRI exam on Monday to reveal the extent of the injury.

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