Cubs' Lester rebounds from worst start to beat Braves
ATLANTA -- Left-hander Jon Lester bounced back from the worst start of his career to throw seven strong innings, helping the Chicago Cubs win their fourth consecutive game, a 4-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Monday at SunTrust Park.
Lester (6-6) showed none of the issues that plagued him in his previous outing, when he was tagged for 10 runs in two-thirds of an inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 9.
He threw 102 pitches on Monday and allowed one run on three hits with one walk and six strikeouts. Lester retired the last 10 batters he faced.
Lester also contributed on offense with a double, a walk and the first stolen base of his career.
Koji Uehara worked a scoreless eighth, but the Braves rallied to scored twice in the ninth against closer Wade Davis. Atlanta had the bases loaded before Davis retired Johan Camargo on a soft fly to left to end the game and earn his 18th save.
Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo went 2-for-4 and homered for the third straight game. He launched a seventh-inning line drive against reliever Ian Krol that sailed over the 400-foot sign in straightaway center field for his 23rd homer.
Atlanta starter Julio Teheran (7-7) lasted six innings and allowed two runs on five hits and four walks. Teheran threw 107 pitches and retired the side in order only once. He stranded runners at third base three times and at second base another time.
The loss ended Atlanta's three-game winning streak.
The Braves scored the game's first run in the third inning.
Ender Inciarte reached on a fielder's choice and took second when Chicago shortstop Javier Baez fired his relay throw about 20 feet wide and into the Atlanta dugout. Inciarte stole third, an outcome verified by a video review, and scored on a looping single hit by Brandon Phillips.
The Cubs took a 2-1 lead in the fifth on Ben Zobrist's two-run single. Chicago went on to load the bases with two outs, but the Braves escaped when first baseman Freddie Freeman snared Kyle Schwarber's line drive and raced to the bag for the putout.
NOTES: The game started one hour and three minutes late because of a storm in the area. A sellout crowd of 41,256 was in attendance. It was Atlanta's eighth sellout of the season. ... The Braves activated INF/OF Sean Rodriguez (left shoulder surgery) and OF Danny Santana (bacterial infection) from the disabled list and sent INF Jace Peterson and RHP Jason Hursh to Triple-A Gwinnett. Rodriguez had missed the entire season after being involved in an automobile accident in January. Rodriguez was in the starting lineup. ... The Cubs will activate RHP John Lackey (5-9, 5.20) from the disabled list on Tuesday, and he will start against the Braves. Lackey has being sidelined with right plantar fasciitis.