CHICAGO (AP/KPIX 5) — Jon Lester pitched a four-hitter for Chicago’s first complete game of the season, and the Cubs beat Johnny Cueto and the San Francisco Giants 4-1 on Tuesday night in a rainy rematch of last year’s playoff opener.
Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run homer as Chicago improved to 5-2 on its nine-game home stand. Kyle Schwarber and Jason Heyward also connected, helping the Cubs bounce back from their 6-4 loss to the Giants on Monday night.
Lester and Cueto hooked up in a memorable pitchers’ duel in Game 1 of the NL Division Series last October, with Chicago winning 1-0 on Javier Baez’s eighth-inning homer. The Cubs eliminated the Giants in four games and went on to their first World Series title in 108 years.
Lester (3-2) was sharp once again in the low-profile reunion. Cueto (4-4) was just OK, striking out eight in six innings, but surrendering Chicago’s three homers.
Brandon Crawford doubled in Buster Posey in the fifth, and that was it for the Giants. Lester retired the side in order in the ninth, getting Christian Arroyo to foul out to left on his 99th pitch for the final out.
San Francisco dropped to 3-2 on its seven-game trip to St. Louis and Chicago. It had won eight of 10 overall.
The start of the game was delayed 65 minutes by rain. After the first four batters struck out, Schwarber drove a 3-2 pitch from Cueto over the bleachers in right and onto Sheffield Avenue for his seventh homer.
Heyward added another solo shot into the basket in right in the second, and Rizzo’s ninth homer made it 4-0 in the fourth.
It was more than enough for Lester, who struck out 10 and walked none in his 15th career complete game. His previous longest outing of the season was seven innings, on April 16 against Pittsburgh and May 7 against the New York Yankees.
He was helped by another solid defensive performance after a shaky start for the Cubs in the field. Shortstop Addison Russell made a slick stop behind second to begin a 6-4-3 double play in the second, and rookie Ian Happ had a nice grab in center on Brandon Belt’s liner in the seventh.
Giants: CF Denard Span (sprained left thumb) was held out of the starting lineup for the second straight day. He got jammed on a pitch during Sunday’s 8-3 loss at St. Louis.
Giants LHP Matt Moore (2-4, 5.37 ERA) and Cubs RHP Kyle Hendricks (3-2, 3.35 ERA) meet in the third game of the four-game set on Wednesday night. Hendricks is 2-1 with a 1.82 ERA in his last five outings after a rough start to the season. Moore pitched six effective innings in a no-decision on Friday at St. Louis, allowing two runs and five hits.
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