CHICAGO — Kris Bryant came to the plate in the eighth inning a triple shy of the cycle. The Cubs slugger was trying for a little more Thursday.
"My last at-bat I was thinking home run," Bryant said. "There aren't too many games you can hit three home runs."
Bryant settled for an RBI single to cap a 5-for-5 day with two homers, a double and five RBIs, and Chicago overcame a career-high seven walks by Jake Arrieta to beat the Brewers 9-6 Thursday for a four-game sweep.
Bryant tied Colorado's Nolan Arenado for the NL lead with 30 home runs.
And as the Cubs won for the 18th time in 21 games and improved the best record in the majors to 77-43, the only controversy in their jovial clubhouse is whether Bryant or teammate Anthony Rizzo is the better NL MVP candidate. Rizzo doubled twice off Zach Davies.
"(Rizzo) always jokes around me saying when Miguel Cabrera won the Triple Crown, Prince Fielder was hitting behind him," Bryant said. "So he always tells me I'm his Prince."
Davies allowed a season-high seven earned runs.
TIGERS 4, RED SOX 3: Miguel Cabrera singled for his 1,000th RBI with the Tigers, and host Detroit went on to score three runs in the eighth. Second baseman Ian Kinsler caught a line drive by Mookie Betts to end it with runners on second and third. Cabrera has 1,523 RBIs overall in a career that started in 2003 with the Marlins.
Indians 5, White Sox 4: Manager Terry Francona sent up a pinch-hitter in the middle of an at-bat and the strategy paid off when Tyler Naquin lofted a game-ending sacrifice fly in the ninth for host Cleveland. Abraham Almonte doubled to begin ninth. With Roberto Perez batting, a passed ball by Dioner Navarro moved Almonte to third. Francona then sent Naquin to the plate with a 1-and-0 count. The rookie drove the first pitch he saw to center.
Orioles 13, Astros 5: J.J. Hardy and Chris Davis each hit two of host Baltimore's six home runs and Hyun Soo Kim had a career-high four hits.
Phillies 5, Dodgers 4: Maikel Franco hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the seventh for host Philadelphia.
Reds 5, Marlins 4: Ramon Cabrera hit a three-run homer and host Cincinnati made it eight wins in 10 series since the All-Star break.
MLB PONDERS CHANGES: Limiting pitching changes, restricting defensive shifts, altering the strike zone and installing pitch clocks are among the ideas Major League Baseball may consider as it undertakes a multiyear review of the game that could include the sport's most radical changes in decades. Owners got a presentation during their quarterly meeting of how the sport has changed in the past 40 to 50 years.
MARINERS SALE APPROVED: Major League Baseball owners approved the sale of a controlling stake in the Mariners from Nintendo of America to a group of minority owners led by Western Wireless Corp. founder John Stanton and retired Microsoft executive Chris Larson. The sale was announced in April. It is the first transfer in control of a team since Ron Fowler led the purchase of the Padres in August 2012.
GIANTS: Right-hander Matt Cain went on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain. The three-time All-Star has already missed 43 games this season because of a strained right hamstring.