PITTSBURGH — Former Ray Jason Hammel continued his strong start, and Anthony Rizzo hit two doubles as the Cubs beat the Pirates 7-2 on Monday night.
Hammel's ERA rose to 1.24 after he entered with a National League-best 0.75. He allowed two runs to snap his streak of five starts of allowing one or fewer.
Rizzo hit an RBI double and scored in the third inning as the Cubs went ahead 2-1. He doubled again during a four-run fifth that pushed the lead to 6-1.
The Cubs improved to 18-6, tops in the majors, with their fifth win in six games. They still haven't lost consecutive games all this season.
Dexter Fowler had two hits for the Cubs, including a double, and two stolen bases, and Javier Baez also had two of Chicago's 11 hits. David Ross hit a two-run single in the fifth, former Rays All-Star Ben Zobrist had two RBIs and Kris Bryant extended his hitting streak to eight games.
Ace right-hander Gerrit Cole, who went in with a 2.78 ERA, was roughed up for six runs — five earned — in 42/3 innings and saw his mark rise to 3.95.
Jordy Mercer went 3-for-3 with a walk for Pittsburgh and has reached base in 14 straight games, but Josh Harrison's 10-game hitting streak ended as he went 0-for-4. The Pirates lost their second straight after winning six in a row.