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Seiya Suzuki and Christopher Morel homer as the Cubs rally past the Giants 11-8

CHICAGO (AP) — Christopher Morel flipped aside his bat as the ball flew over the wall in center, punctuating another big homer for the energetic slugger.

With the wind blowing out on a humid night at Wrigley Field, the Chicago Cubs just kept rolling along.

Morel and Seiya Suzuki homered during Chicago's six-run seventh inning, and the Cubs beat the San Francisco Giants 11-8 on Tuesday for their third consecutive win.

“It's just constant at-bats and a lot of pressure from our group,” said Nico Hoerner, who had two of the Cubs' 15 hits. “And, you know, more times than not, I think it's going to be a good result.”

Suzuki had four hits and three RBIs as Chicago remained 2 1/2 games back of NL Central-leading Milwaukee. Yan Gomes added three hits and two RBIs, and Drew Smyly (10-9) got three outs for the win.

The Cubs moved a season-high 11 games over .500 at 75-64. They are 49-28 since they dropped to 26-36 with a 3-1 loss at the Angels on June 8.

“The group in there has believed in themselves since spring training," manager David Ross said. “It's very obvious. This team talks about winning. There are a lot of winners in that room, guys with hardware."

J.D. Davis, LaMonte Wade Jr., Mike Yastrzemski and Wilmer Flores homered for San Francisco in its fifth consecutive loss. Davis and Joc Pederson each had three hits.

Part of a four-way fight for the third NL wild card, the Giants dropped to 9-20 since Aug. 5.

San Francisco, which was shut out in its previous two games, scored three runs in the sixth to take a 6-4 lead. Pederson hit an RBI double off Kyle Hendricks and Davis greeted Hayden Wesneski with a one-out drive to center for his 16th homer.

But Chicago went ahead to stay in the seventh, taking advantage of a couple of defensive miscues for San Francisco (70-69).

After Suzuki's two-run homer tied it at 6, Pederson misplayed Jeimer Candelario's fly ball to left into a double. With one out and runners on the corners, third baseman Casey Schmitt committed a throwing error when he tried to cut down Candelario at the plate on Nick Madrigal's grounder.

Morel followed with a 431-foot drive to center against Luke Jackson (1-2) for a three-run shot that lifted the Cubs to a 10-6 lead. The 24-year-old Morel celebrated his 20th homer with a big bat flip.

San Francisco closed to 11-8 on Flores' leadoff drive to left against Julian Merryweather in the ninth. After Pederson walked, pinch-hitter Paul DeJong struck out before Davis bounced into a game-ending double play.

The late rally for Chicago spoiled a fast start by San Francisco.

Wade drove Hendricks' first pitch of the game into the bleachers in right for his 14th homer, helping the Giants build a 3-0 lead. Wade Meckler saved a run with a diving catch in center in the bottom of the first, and then hit an RBI single in the second.

Chicago responded with four runs in the third, including a two-run double for Gomes that deflected off a diving Pederson.


Giants: C Patrick Bailey was shaken up on the play at the plate when Candelario scored in the seventh. Manager Gabe Kapler called it a “potential concussion.” ... RHP John Brebbia (right lat strain) was reinstated from the 60-day injured list. OF AJ Pollock was placed on unconditional release waivers, and RHP Tristan Beck was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento. ... RHP Ross Stripling (mid-back strain) threw 45 pitches in a live BP session. OF Michael Conforto (left hamstring strain) stepped in against the pitcher. “(Stripling) looked great,” Kapler said. “Stayed in his delivery. On the other side, Michael Conforto really swung the bat well."

Cubs: All-Star RHP Marcus Stroman (rib cartilage fracture) had a bullpen session on Monday that went well. “No real issues,” Ross said. “He'll throw another one soon." There is no timetable for Stroman's return. ... RHP Brad Boxberger (forearm strain) also had a bullpen session Monday that went well, according to the team. ... RHP Michael Fulmer (forearm strain) could progress to a light bullpen session as soon as Wednesday. ... LHP Brandon Hughes (left knee inflammation) and RHP Nick Burdi (right ulnar nerve irritation) are both slated to make another rehab appearance with Triple-A Iowa on Wednesday.


Cubs left-hander Jordan Wicks (2-0, 1.80 ERA) takes the mound Wednesday. Wicks is going for his third straight win in his third big league start. The Giants have not announced their starter for the series finale.