CHICAGO (AP) — Seiya Suzuki hit a three-run double, Cody Bellinger homered and the Chicago Cubs beat the San Francisco Giants 8-2 on Wednesday for their fourth consecutive win.
Suzuki, Bellinger and Ian Happ each had two hits as Chicago completed a three-game sweep to move a season-high 12 games above .500 at 76-64. The Cubs also moved within 1 1/2 games of NL Central-leading Milwaukee.
Chicago left-hander Jordan Wicks improved to 3-0 with a 2.16 ERA in his first three major league starts. He allowed two runs and nine hits in 6 2/3 innings.
After making his debut on Aug. 26, Wicks has embraced the high stakes of being in a playoff race early in his career.
“For me, it’s more calming because the only thing I’m focused on is winning the game,” Wicks said. “I could care less what my stats are. My whole goal when I take the mound is, when I come out of the game, I want us to be in the best position possible to win the game. That’s my entire mantra.”
San Francisco dropped back to .500 with its sixth consecutive loss. The Giants (70-70) went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position and left six runners on base.
Giants manager Gabe Kapler was adamant his team will bounce back despite its ongoing struggles.
“This is where you keep fighting back,” he said. “The season is 162 games for a reason and there are a lot of teams who have withstood this kind of punishment. There’s a big reward if you’re able to keep getting back up and going back at it the next day so that’s where we are at with it.”
Thairo Estrada, Luis Matos, Casey Schmitt and Paul DeJong each had two hits for San Francisco, which closed out a 1-6 road trip. Alex Wood (5-5) was tagged for five runs and five hits in 2 1/3 innings.
Kapler did not commit to Wood having his next appearance be as a starter after the left-hander was recently moved to the bullpen.
Fresh off a wild 11-8 win on Tuesday night, the Cubs got off to a fast start.
Dansby Swanson's two-out walk in the first inning loaded the bases for Suzuki, who hit a liner to right to give Chicago a 3-0 lead. Suzuki is batting .342 (38 for 111) with eight homers and 24 RBIs in his last 30 games.
“He’s got a lot of confidence right now,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “Just seeing the best version of himself come out. We’ve seen him in spurts (be) an All-Star caliber player. He’s just really consistent right now.”
Bellinger doubled in Happ in the third, and Miguel Amaya connected in the fourth for his fifth homer. Bellinger hit a solo drive in the seventh for his 24th homer, giving the Cubs to an 8-2 lead.
San Francisco scored both of its runs in the top of the seventh. Schmitt hit an RBI double, and Joey Bart had a sacrifice fly.
Giants: C Patrick Bailey was placed on the 7-day concussion list after he got hurt during Tuesday night’s loss. C Bart and OF Matos were recalled from Triple-A Sacramento, and OF Wade Meckler was sent down.
Cubs: LHP Luke Little was brought up from Triple-A Iowa. Little pitched a scoreless ninth inning in his big league debut. RHP Shane Greene was designated for assignment.
Giants: Kapler said OF Michael Conforto (left hamstring strain) is feeling “85%” healthy and is in the final stages of his recovery.
Cubs: RHP Michael Fulmer (right forearm strain) was scheduled to play catch and throw off the mound.
Giants: LHP Kyle Harrison (1-1, 4.70 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game series on Friday against Colorado. LHP Ty Blach (2-1, 4.33 ERA) pitches for the Rockies.
Cubs: RHP Javier Assad (3-2, 2.69 ERA) takes the mound on Thursday against Arizona. RHP Slade Cecconi (0-1, 4.44 ERA) pitches for the visiting Diamondbacks in the opener of a four-game series.