Jon Lester returned to form, allowing one run in seven innings, and the Chicago Cubs' offense came alive in an 8-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday.
Coming off three straight losses at St. Louis in which they scored six total runs, the Cubs broke loose with a five-run sixth inning. Javier Báez began the onslaught with a run-scoring double, one of his three RBIs, as Chicago picked up its second win in its past eight games.
Lester (4-4) was in control from the outset. The left-hander allowed four singles, walked one and struck out six, giving up his only run on a sacrifice fly by Jonathan Lucroy in the seventh.
Lucroy's drive to the right-center field gap could have done more damage. But right fielder Carlos González, who was promoted from Triple-A Iowa before the game, made a diving catch on the warning track, nearly sliding headfirst into the ivy-covered wall.
In his previous three starts — all losses — Lester allowed 19 runs (16 earned) in 14 innings, increasing his ERA from 1.16 to 3.59. After Monday's effort, he's now at 3.32.
Former Cub Trevor Cahill (2-6) was charged with five runs on six hits and two walks in 4 1/3 innings in relief of opener Cam Bedrosian. Cahill has one win in his last nine appearances.
The Cubs did their damage in the sixth against Cahill and two other relievers. After Báez doubled to drive in Kris Bryant, Jason Heyward had a two-run double, Addison Russell had a sacrifice fly and Kyle Schwarber singled to drive in a run. It was Chicago's biggest inning since May 17, when it scored five times in the eighth during a 14-6 win over Washington.
Báez and Willson Contreras homered off Luís Garcia in the seventh.
Chicago took a 1-0 lead in the fourth on Báez's groundout.
The game was a makeup of a contest scheduled for April 14 that was postponed because of inclement weather. The teams split the first two games of the series.