PITTSBURGH — Cody Bellinger had three hits and five RBIs, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 10-1 on Sunday.
Nico Hoerner had three hits and scored three times, helping Chicago close out a 5-2 road trip. Jeimer Candelario homered and drove in three runs.
The Cubs (69-61) took three of four in Pittsburgh. Next up is a big three-game series against NL Central-leading Milwaukee beginning on Monday night at Wrigley Field.
“It’s definitely going to be a fun series,” Bellinger said. “Wrigley will be rockin’ and we’re going to continue playing our game. That’s the goal.”
Bellinger singled in Hoerner in the first inning. He doubled home two more runs in the fifth, giving Chicago a 5-1 lead. The 2019 NL MVP added another two-run double in the ninth and scored the Cubs’ final run on Yan Gomes’ groundout.
Bellinger has 16 RBIs in his last nine games and a MLB-best 53 RBIs since July 1. He has reached safely in 34 of his last 38 games.
“He’s a threat that can hit for power, but with two strikes, he’s willing to just try to touch the baseball,” manager David Ross said. “It’s one of the more impressive things I’ve been able to witness in a long time, just somebody with that kind of hand-eye coordination for those balls to go the other way and find holes.”
Joshua Palacios had two of Pittsburgh’s four hits. Bailey Falter (1-8) was tagged for six runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings.
The Pirates have lost nine of 10 against the Cubs this year.
“We just didn’t play well,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “We didn’t do a lot of things well and sometimes you’re going to have games like that. We have to flush it and move on to Kansas City.”
Candelario put Chicago ahead to stay with his 19th homer, a tiebreaking two-run shot in the fourth. He also drove in a run with a fielder’s choice in the eighth.
Cubs right-hander Javier Assad (3-2) struck out seven in seven innings. He surrendered three hits and walked two.
Seiya Suzuki had two hits and scored two runs for Chicago, extending his hitting streak to a career-best 10 games.
“It’s been fun to watch,” Bellinger said. “He looks like he’s enjoying himself. It definitely makes our team a whole lot better and a whole lot deeper.”
The Pirates recalled right-hander Cody Bolton from Triple-A Indianapolis. Right-hander Osvaldo Bido was optioned to Triple-A. Bolton allowed one hit in 2 1/3 scoreless innings in the loss.
Cubs: RHP Jameson Taillon (7-8, 5.60 ERA) is scheduled to start Monday against LHP Wade Miley (6-3, 3.18 ERA) and Milwaukee.
Pirates: RHP Johan Oviedo (7-13, 4.46) starts for Pittsburgh in Monday’s series opener at Kansas City.