ATLANTA (AP) — Chicago's four home runs gave Jake Arrieta confidence on a day he said he "wasn't very crisp."
The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner looked sharp to the Braves.
Arrieta allowed only four hits in seven strong innings and, backed by the homers, made an impressive return to winning form as the Cubs beat Atlanta 8-2 on Saturday.
Jason Heyward gave Chicago the lead with his first-inning homer, and Anthony Rizzo and Miguel Montero also hit homers in a four-run fourth inning.
After that, it was only a matter of how long Arrieta would last in the heat. The temperature for the first pitch was 94 degrees.
"Pitching with a lead, I always feel pretty confident," Arrieta said.
Arrieta (10-1) allowed two runs in his answer to his first loss of the season. He described his outing as "OK for my part."
Armed with the early lead, Arrieta looked almost unbeatable to the Braves.
"It kind of got away from us a little bit and a little bit is a whole lot with him," said Braves interim manager Brian Snitker of Arrieta.
Arrieta had two hits as the Cubs' offense rolled after being held to four hits in a 5-1 loss to Atlanta on Friday night.
Montero's homer was a three-run shot. Kris Bryant added a two-run homer in the fifth inning.
Rizzo returned after sitting Friday night with tightness in his back.
The Cubs (42-18) own baseball's best record and have won 13 of 17. They have 22 wins by five or more runs and improved to 38-2 when scoring at least four runs.
Arrieta's 3-2 loss to Arizona on Sunday was his first since July 25, 2015 and ended a streak of 20 consecutive winning decisions.
"The streak, whatever it was, is over," he said. "Let's start a new one."
Arrieta improved to 7-0 in seven road starts.
Matt Wisler (2-7) allowed five runs on seven hits, including three homers, in four innings.
Wisler has allowed six homers and 13 earned runs over eight innings in his last two starts. He also gave up three homers in a 12-6 loss at the Dodgers on Sunday and has allowed 12 for the season.
The Braves' first run off Arrieta came in the fourth, when Nick Markakis doubled and then scored on Adonis Garcia's single to center field. Ender Inciarte's triple in the seventh drove in Jace Peterson, who walked.