Anthony Rizzo connected for Chicago, which has won six of seven overall. Rizzo, one of the Cubs’ top prospects, has two homers in six games since he was recalled on Tuesday last week.
Samardzija (6-7) yielded one run and four hits in seven innings, rebounding from a rough month last month. Jeff Russell pitched the ninth for his second save.
PADRES 6, DIAMONDBACKS 2
In Phoenix, Arizona, Clayton Richard came within one out of a complete game, and Alexi Amarista hit one of three San Diego home runs in a win over Arizona.
Cameron Maybin hit a 485-foot drive and Yasmani Grandal also connected as the Padres picked up their third straight win.
Grandal has three career hits, all of them home runs. The last player whose first three hits were homers was Keith McDonald for St Louis in 2000 — those turned out to be the only three hits he got in the majors.
Richard (6-8) was pulled after 8-2/3 innings, after allowing consecutive singles to Ryan Roberts and Gerardo Parra. Joe Thatcher struck out pinch-hitter Jason Kubel for his first career save.
PIRATES 11, ASTROS 2
In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Garrett Jones and Neil Walker hit back-to-back homers off the right-field foul pole to ignite Pittsburgh’s offense against Houston.
James McDonald (8-3) pitched seven effective innings for the Pirates, who won for the fifth time in six games.
Limited to one hit over the first three innings by Jordan Lyles, the first five Pirates to bat in the fourth had hits, highlighted by Jones’ two-run homer and Walker’s solo shot.
Jones finished with four hits and four RBIs, and Andrew McCutchen also went 4 for 5 for the Pirates, whose 16-5 home record since May 12 is the best in the majors.