CHICAGO (AP) – Cubs lefty Jon Lester was tagged for a career-high-tying 11 runs in only four innings, with Dustin Garneau and Stephen Piscotty hitting three-run homers that led the Oakland Athletics over Chicago 11-4 Tuesday night.
Garneau’s drive to the back row of the bleachers in left field was the big blow in an eight-run, second-inning burst. The A’s went on to their seventh win in nine games.
Kris Bryant homered as the NL Central-leading Cubs had their four-game winning streak end.
Lester (9-8) was roughed up for the second straight start. He allowed 11 runs – 10 of them earned – on 10 hits and three walks to match the worst outing of his career on July 22, 2012, when he was with Boston and faced Toronto.
Cubs catcher Taylor Davis pitched a scoreless ninth. Oakland loaded the bases with three singles and none out, but didn’t get a run. Davis had entered the game behind the plate in the fifth when starting catcher Victor Caratini replaced Anthony Rizzo at first base.
Brett Anderson (10-7) cruised to his first win in month, scattering seven hits over six innings. He also contributed two singles at the plate.
Matt Olson had two RBIs and Mark Canha and Chad Pinder each drove in a run as the A’s broke loose early, a night after falling just short with a late rally in a 6-5 loss.
Cubs reliever Duane Underwood Jr. struck out all six Oakland batters he faced in the fifth and sixth to tie a team record for consecutive strikeouts by a reliever. Underwood was making his first appearance this season and second of his career after being recalled from Triple-A on Monday when the Cubs put closer Craig Kimbrel on the 10-day injured list
Kyle Schwarber drove in two runs in the ninth off reliever Wei-Chung Wang.
The A’s sent 12 batters to the plate in the second and eight of them reached base consecutively – a stretch with five hits, two walks, and an error. Chicago had not allowed more than five runs in an inning this season.
Garneau made it 4-0 with his homer and Olson singled in two more runs. Canha made it 7-0 on a grounder when Rizzo threw home perfectly, but Caratini couldn’t hold on as Mark Chapman slid in. Pinder’s RBI groundout completed the rally.
Piscotty’s three-run homer off Lester in the fourth upped it to 11-0.