PHILADELPHIA — Anthony Rizzo and Tommy La Stella each hit two home runs as the Chicago Cubs blasted their way past Ben Lively and the Philadelphia Phillies with six homers in a 17-2 rout on Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park.
The win snapped a two-game skid for the Cubs (69-59), who entered the evening three games up on Milwaukee in the National League Central race.
Chicago starter Kyle Hendricks (5-4) picked up his first win since May 24, a span of nine starts. The right-hander cruised through seven innings, giving up six hits and two runs while striking out a season-high eight.
Down two runs after the first inning, the defending World Series champions got on the board in the second thanks to a solo home run by La Stella, his fourth of the year.
Rizzo put Chicago up an inning later with his first long ball of the night, a three-run shot to straightaway center, after Lively had walked Jon Jay and then hit Kris Bryant with a pitch.
The slugging first baseman added a solo shot in the fifth, going back-to-back with Bryant as the Cubs extended their lead to 6-2.
It was the 16th career multi-homer game for Rizzo and his third this season. He had been experiencing something of a power deficit this month, hitting two home runs on Aug. 1 but then just two in the 83 at-bats since.
Rizzo added a bases-loaded infield single in the seventh inning, finishing his night 3-for-5 with five RBIs and three runs scored.
Hendricks also got in on the offensive outburst, collecting two hits — including a two-run double — during a runaway seventh inning that saw the Cubs score seven runs while sending 11 men to the plate.
Lively (1-5) was long gone by that point, having lasted just five innings. The rookie right-hander gave up six runs (all earned) and five hits, though he did set a career high with eight strikeouts.
The four home runs Lively gave up doubled the amount he allowed in his first eight career starts for the Phillies (47-81).
La Stella added a two-run homer in the ninth inning for his first career multi-home run game.
Chicago’s Ben Zobrist capped off the scoring with a pinch-hit, two-run homer later in the inning.
Phillies left fielder Rhys Hoskins continued his impressive first few weeks in the majors when he smashed a 1-2 pitch into the stands in left center to spot his team a two-run lead.
Hoskins’ home run made him the first player in MLB history with 10 homers in his first 20 career games. It only took him 17 games to achieve the feat, a stretch in which he’s hitting .300 with 23 RBIs.
NOTES: Sunday’s series finale will pit Philadelphia RHP Nick Pivetta (4-9, 6.73 ERA) against Chicago RHP John Lackey (10-9, 4.90). It will also be the final day of MLB’s #PlayersWeekend, which has seen players across baseball using personalized equipment and nicknames on their specially designed jerseys. … The Phillies are 19-19 against defending World Series champions dating to 2008, when they last won it all. … The Cubs are five games into playing 20 games in 20 days, a stretch that ends Sept. 10.