Bryant homers as Cubs beat Giants to extend wild-card lead

Kris Bryant homered and drove in three runs to help the surging Chicago Cubs beat the San Francisco Giants 8-6 on Saturday.

Bryant's big day powered Chicago to its third straight win and ninth in 10 games. He also walked and scored on Miguel Montero's tiebreaking single in the fifth inning as the Cubs opened a 2 1/2-game lead over San Francisco in the race for the second NL wild card.

Bryant's two-run shot off Matt Cain (2-3) in the third was the rookie's first homer since July 27 against Colorado. He entered with a .162 batting average in 21 games since the All-Star break.

Brandon Belt hit a two-run homer for the Giants, who have dropped three in a row and five of seven. Hunter Pence had two hits and scored twice.

Angel Pagan and Nori Aoki each had a run-scoring single in San Francisco's three-run ninth before Justin Grimm came in with a runner on first and got Matt Duffy to ground out to shortstop for his third save.

Montero's run-scoring single was his first hit since he came off the disabled list Friday after being sidelined for almost a month by a sprained left thumb. Jorge Soler then scampered home on pitcher Kyle Hendricks' double-play grounder, lifting Chicago to a 5-3 lead.

The Cubs (61-48) also got three hits from Addison Russell while moving 13 games over .500 for the first time since they finished the 2008 season with a 97-64 record. The victory clinched their first series win at home against the Giants since taking two of three in June 2011.

San Francisco (59-51) was hurt by an erratic outing from Cain, who set season highs with five walks and two hit batters in four-plus innings. The right-hander has allowed at least four runs in four of his last five starts.

Hendricks (6-5) was pulled after consecutive one-out singles by Buster Posey and Pence in the sixth. Travis Wood struck out Belt and retired Brandon Crawford on a grounder.


The Cubs placed catcher David Ross on the bereavement list and recalled outfielder Matt Szczur from Triple-A Iowa. Ross could return to the team as soon as Tuesday.


Giants: C Andrew Susac (strained right thumb) is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Sacramento on Tuesday. ... RHP Mike Leake (strained left hamstring) is expected to throw off a mound Tuesday. Manager Bruce Bochy said the club wants to be cautious with the injury, which occurred during routine conditioning during the Giants' recent series at Atlanta. ... Bochy said he plans to rest Pagan on Sunday. Pagan is dealing with soreness in his knees and played the first three games of the series.

Cubs: CF Dexter Fowler was hit on his right knee by a pitch in the second inning, sending him to the ground. He stayed in the game.


Cubs RHP Jake Arrieta (12-6, 2.50 ERA) and Giants RHP Jake Peavy (2-4, 3.77) square off in the series finale. Arrieta is 6-1 with a 1.37 ERA in his last nine starts. Peavy has a string of four consecutive starts without a loss, going 2-0 with a 2.96 ERA in that stretch.