With Anthony Rizzo and Jason Heyward now heating up, the Chicago Cubs can outslug opponents as well as outpitch them.
Chicago's offensive binge bodes well for Kyle Hendricks, who hasn't received much recent support at Wrigley Field entering Tuesday night's matchup with the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Cubs come into this three-game set after scoring 38 runs in winning three of four at Cincinnati. They capped that series with 15 hits and three home runs - two from Rizzo - to back Jason Hammel's six strong innings in a 9-0 victory.
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After hitting .163 through the first 14 games, Rizzo is 6 for 20 with five homers and 10 RBIs over the last five.
''I opened my stance a little bit but nothing major," he said. "You stay with the process. The formula is there. Things will take care of themselves.''
Heyward has broken out from a similarly slow start. The prized free-agent addition, who hit .170 over the first 14 games, is 10 for 20 over the past five after finishing 4 for 5 with three RBIs Sunday.
Chicago (14-5) leads the majors with 119 runs scored, and it's getting solid pitching as well during its best 19-game start since 1969. Hammel, Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester are a combined 9-1 and all sport ERAs under two, with Arrieta throwing his second career no-hitter in Friday's 16-0 rout of the Reds.
Hendricks (1-2, 4.00 ERA) wasn't at his best last time out, however, allowing four runs over 5 1/3 innings Wednesday at St. Louis to lose his second consecutive start.
The right-hander gave up two earned runs in six innings of a 6-1 defeat to Colorado on April 15 in his previous assignment, extending his winless streak at Wrigley Field to seven games including last year's playoffs. The Cubs have totaled three runs with Hendricks on the mound over the last five of those starts.
Hendricks didn't get much help in a 4-1 home loss to Milwaukee on Sept. 23, and he didn't need much in holding the Brewers to one hit in six innings of a 1-0 win at Miller Park on Oct. 3.
Hendricks, 2-1 with a 1.48 ERA in four 2015 meetings with Milwaukee (8-11), faces a lineup that's also being swinging the bats well. The Brewers are averaging 5.5 runs over their last six and homered three times to halt a three-game skid with Sunday's 8-5 win over Philadelphia.
Ryan Braun had a solo homer among his two hits and is 13 for 25 with eight RBIs over a seven-game hitting streak that's raised the 2011 NL MVP's season average to .364.
''Swing is in a good place, bat path is in a good place,'' he said. ''But more than that, I'm healthy, healthiest I've been in a while. I feel good.''
Braun is 1 for 8 with four strikeouts against Hendricks. Jonathan Lucroy, batting .323 over an eight-game hitting streak, is 1 for 7.
Heyward is 3 for 5 and Rizzo 4 for 13 with a home run against Jimmy Nelson (3-1, 3.46), who's trying to win four consecutive starts for the first time in his career. He's been well supported in the last two, including Wednesday's 10-5 victory over Minnesota in which he allowed four runs in 6 2/3 innings.
Nelson has posted three quality starts but has been prone to the long ball, having surrendered six homers in 26 innings.
The right-hander is 0-3 in five career starts against Chicago, but posted a 2.61 ERA in three last season while striking out 25 in 20 2/3 innings.