Anthony Rizzo really does love batting leadoff: Smacks another homer as part of three-hit day in Cubs' win


It's true what they say: Anthony does love batting leadoff.

Anthony Rizzo kept the leadoff magic going Sunday, getting three hits, scoring three runs and driving in two with a seventh-inning home run that broke the game open and allowed the Cubs to cruise to a 7-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.

Rizzo has absolutely mashed in five games as the team's leadoff hitter, 9-for-22 with two doubles, three homers, eight RBIs and six runs scored.

Sunday he got things started again, doubling on the game's first pitch — he's got a single, a double, a walk and two homers in five plate appearances to leadoff games — and scored two batters later on Willson Contreras' double.

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Contreras drove in two more with another double in the third inning to make it 3-0, and Javy Baez scored on a Jon Jay base hit in the fourth to make it 4-0. Rizzo's two-run shot in the seventh took a tight 4-1 affair to a five-run ballgame, and Ian Happ extended that lead with a solo homer in the ninth, his third homer in his last five games.

John Lackey picked up the win, throwing well in a bounce-back performance. He allowed just one run on just two hits in his six innings of work. This follows back-to-back losses against the Miami Marlins and New York Mets in which he surrendered a combined nine runs in 11 innings.


The Cubs returned to .500 with the win, bringing their record to 34-34. They come back to Wrigley Field for a three-game set with the San Diego Padres before hitting the road again.