Summer in Wrigleyville is a magical place, especially when the Cubs are in contention.
With the wind blowing out on a hot night at "The Friendly Confines," the Cubs proved why, hammering out five homers en route to a 10-5 victory over the Pirates to complete a three-game sweep of the NL Central rivals.
This coming the day after the Cubs hit three solo homers in Saturday night's 4-3 victory.
Sunday, Javy Baez got the home run derby started with a solo blast to left field in the second inning.
The Bryzzo Bros — Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo — then went back-to-back in the third.
Prospect Willson Contreras sent the first MLB pitch he saw into the center field bleachers for a two-run shot in the sixth and Addison Russell added a two-run blast in the seventh, which also closed out the scoring on the evening.
It was more than enough for Kyle Hendricks, who struck out a career-high 12 batters in six innings, allowing just a run on seven hits and zero walks.
Hendricks said that may have been the best his changeup has been over the last two seasons and admitted he was even a little surprised at his strikeout total.
"I never go into a game trying to do that, honestly," Hendricks said. "So I think today was just the changeup. That was the answer. I just go out there, trying to make good pitches. I try and pitch to contact, let my fielders work for me. Today was just kind of a special day."
Hendricks induced some funky swings on the night from some very good hitters like Andrew McCutchen and Jung Ho Kang.
"That's movement, man," Joe Maddon said. "People talk about velocity. Velocity's cool. But movement like that, hitters do not like. There's a little funk regarding how he throws the ball and how it comes out of his hand.
"All of that really permits his success. But he's doing that a little bit hard, a little bit more velocity and great, great movement and location."
Clayton Richard and Adam Warren allowed the Pirates to get back into the game in the top of the seventh, surrendering three runs. Warren eventually got out of the jam, but allowed another run in the top of the ninth.
Maddon had to call on Pedro Strop to come on and get the final two outs of the ballgame.
The sweep sends the Pirates 15 games behind the Cubs in the division race.
The Cubs welcome the St. Louis Cardinals to town Monday night to kick off a three-game series. Contreras will get his first big-league start catching John Lackey.
Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet.