Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo homered and the Chicago Cubs won for the 10th time in 11 games, beating the Miami Marlins 4-1 on Thursday.
Bryant sparked a two-run first with his sixth homer in 12 games. Rizzo connected for the sixth time in 11 games with a two-run drive in the fifth against Trevor Richards. And the Cubs overcame another shaky outing by Yu Darvish.
The four-time All-Star walked six — one shy of a season high — in just four innings, giving him 11 in his past two starts. Though he allowed just one run and one hit, only 50 of his 97 pitches were strikes.
Mike Montgomery (1-0) threw three-hit ball over five scoreless innings in his return from a strained lat muscle and the NL Central leading Cubs headed into a weekend series against second-place Milwaukee on a winning note.
The major league-worst Marlins lost for the 10th time in 12 games, and Richards (0-5) remained winless in eight starts. The right-hander gave up four runs and seven hits in five innings.
The Cubs have homered in 15 straight games, matching their best run since the 2002 season.
Bryant, who hit a game-ending three-run drive Tuesday, got them started in the first with a shot to the back of the left-field bleachers for his seventh home run. Albert Almora Jr. added an RBI single with two outs, making it 2-0.
Darvish threw 33 pitches in the third and walked three before striking out Neil Walker on a 3-2 cutter to end the threat. The Marlins got a run in the fourth when Peter O’Brien walked, stole second and scored on a two-out single by Rosell Herrera — Miami’s first hit.
But after Bryant walked in the fifth, Rizzo made it 4-1 with his drive to center. The homer was his 10th this season and 200th with the Cubs. Rizzo is the ninth player in franchise history to hit 200 home runs with the Cubs.
Cubs: Manager Joe Maddon expects Daniel Descalso (sore left ankle) to return to the lineup soon after being held out for the fifth straight game.
“I’ve got to talk to the trainers,” he said. Descalso has been limited to pinch hitting since he was hurt running the bases against St. Louis last week. And he struck out batting for Darvish in the fourth.
Marlins: RHP Pablo López (2-4, 4.03 ERA) looks to keep a solid run going when the Marlins open a three-game series at the New York Mets. He has a 2.00 ERA in his past three starts. RHP Zack Wheeler (2-2, 4.64) pitches for New York.
Cubs: The Cubs open a weekend series against Milwaukee that matches the top two teams in the NL Central, with LHP José Quintana (4-1, 3.40) going against LHP Gio Gonzalez (0-0, 2.61). Quintana is 4-0 in his past five starts.