Jason Heyward, Willson Contreras and Javier Baez smacked home runs against former teammate Jon Lester to power the host Chicago Cubs to a 7-3 victory over the Washington Nationals on Monday night.
After spending the past six seasons with the Cubs and playing an instrumental role in the team’s 2016 World Series championship, Lester signed a one-year deal with Washington in January.
Lester received numerous standing ovations from Cubs fans, including when he exited the game after 5 1/3 innings. The Chicago faithful also rose numerous times after a few of the left-hander’s deliveries soared into the bleachers.
Lester (0-2) hadn’t yielded a home run in his first three starts with the Nationals, but the three were among eight hits he allowed on Monday. He struck out four without issuing a walk.
Heyward had two hits and three RBIs, while Contreras and Anthony Rizzo both had two hits and an RBI.
Josh Bell led the Nationals with two of the team’s six hits.
Chicago right-hander Adbert Alzolay (2-3) was the winner, allowing three runs, five hits and three strikeouts in five innings with no walks.
Rizzo hit an RBI sacrifice fly in the first inning to give Chicago a 1-0 lead, followed by a flurry of home runs from Lester’s former and current teammates.
Heyward extended the Chicago lead to 3-0 with a two-run, opposite field shot to left in the second inning, before the Nationals’ Trea Turner put the visitors on the board with a solo home run to center in the third.
The Cubs regained a two-run advantage on Contreras’ solo shot in the bottom half of the third.
The Nationals answered that in the top of the fourth, as Kyle Schwarber, who spent his first five seasons with the Cubs but also signed a one-year contract with Washington in the off-season, drilled a two-run home run to center to draw Washington to within 4-3.
Baez made it 5-3 with a solo home run in the sixth, and the Cubs padded the lead with RBI singles from Eric Sogard and Heyward in the seventh and eighth, respectively.
Washington had tried to rally in the top of the eighth, loading the bases with two outs, but Cubs second baseman Nico Hoerner lunged to stop a Starlin Castro grounder before throwing to first to end the threat.
–Field Level Media