CHICAGO -- Jon Lester hit his first major league homer and struck out nine to reach 2,000 for his career, helping the Chicago Cubs pound the Arizona Diamondbacks 16-4 on Tuesday night.
Anthony Rizzo went deep twice and Ian Happ and Javier Baez also connected as Chicago kicked off a six-game homestand with its 14th win in 17 games since the All-Star break. Rizzo, Baez and Albert Almora Jr. each drove in three runs, and Kris Bryant and Willson Contreras had two RBIs apiece.
The NL Central leaders rapped out 17 hits in their highest-scoring game of the season and stayed 2 1/2 games ahead of second-place Milwaukee.
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With two outs and Happ on first in the third, Lester drove a 2-2 pitch from Patrick Corbin over the wall in center to make it 8-1. The crowd of 40,709 roared as Lester trotted around the bases and kept cheering until he popped out of the dugout for a curtain call (see full recap).
Marlins rally past Nationals after Scherzer exits
MIAMI -- Max Scherzer hit his first career homer to help build a six-run lead, but he pitched only one inning before departing with a neck spasm, and the Miami Marlins rallied to beat the Washington Nationals 7-6 Tuesday.
Scherzer slept funny and left the game as a precaution, the Nationals said.
The Marlins took the lead with a four-run fifth inning. Marcell Ozuna hit a three-run homer off Matt Albers (5-2), and Derek Dietrich's RBI triple put Miami ahead 7-6.
Six pitchers combined to blank Washington over the final 7 2/3 innings. Dustin McGowan (7-1) pitched two scoreless innings during Miami's comeback.
Brad Ziegler, promoted to closer after A.J. Ramos was traded last week, pitched the ninth and worked around a pair of two-out singles for his 86th career save and first this year. Ryan Zimmerman grounded out to end the game (see full recap).
Vazquez walk-off HR caps wild win for Red Sox
BOSTON -- Christian Vazquez hit a three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Boston Red Sox pulled off the final rally of a wild game Tuesday night, beating the Cleveland Indians 12-10 despite an astonishing catch by center fielder Austin Jackson.
In the fifth inning, Jackson robbed Hanley Ramirez of a leadoff homer with a leaping grab in the right-center triangle at Fenway Park. Jackson reached way above the wall and tumbled head over heels into the Red Sox bullpen, steadying himself by holding onto the fence with his right arm. Following a soft landing, Jackson stood up and showed umpires he indeed had the ball, to the amazement of players on both sides.
A replay review confirmed Jackson held on for the catch.
Cleveland, which tied it on Fancisco Lindor's leadoff homer in the top of the ninth and added a run on a wild pitch, blew the lead for the third and last time in the bottom of the ninth in a game the Indians led 5-0 after two innings (see full recap).