CHICAGO (AP) — Jason Hammel pitched seven strong innings, Mike Olt hit a three-run homer and Nate Schierholtz drove in a pair of early runs to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 9-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night.
Hammel (3-1) allowed just one run and four hits in seven innings to lower his ERA to 2.60.
Olt still is batting below .200 for the season (.195), but has four homers and nine runs batted in.
The Cubs, who’ve won three of four, have won back-to-back games for the first time this season. They last won consecutive games on Sept. 9 and 10 of last season against the Cincinnati Reds. Their last consecutive home wins came on Sept. 4 and 6 against Miami and Milwaukee.
Brandon McCarthy (0-4) managed to lower his ERA from 7.11 to 6.23. He allowed five runs — one earned — and seven hits in five innings.
Arizona dropped its fourth straight and has the worst record the major leagues at 5-18.
The Cubs broke through in the third inning. Luis Valbuena stroked a one-out double to left-center and then scored two batters later on a two-out single by Schierholtz.
In the fifth, they stretched the lead to 2-0 when Schierholtz drove in Valbuena again, this time on a sacrifice fly to right field. Valbuena led off the inning with a single, went to second on a groundout and then reached third as Arizona second baseman Martin Prado muffed an Anthony Rizzo grounder for an error.
The Cubs weren’t done yet. Given the extra out, Starlin Castro singled to put two runners on and Olt followed with a homer into the right-field bleachers for a 5-0 lead.
All four runs were unearned because of the Prado error.
Arizona finally got on the board against Hammel in the sixth when Tuffy Gosewisch led off with a homer. It was Gosewisch’s first hit of the season after starting 0 for 12.
The Cubs then broke things open with four runs in the bottom of the eighth, while the Diamondbacks got one back in the ninth.
NOTES: Wednesday is the 100th anniversary of the first game at Wrigley Field, which then was known as Weeghman Park, between the Chicago Federals and Kansas City Packers of the Federal League. The Cubs will wear replica Federal uniforms for the game, while Arizona will wear Packers uniforms. . Diamondbacks OF Mark Trumbo didn’t start because of soreness in his left foot. The injury occurred late in Monday’s game. . Now that RHP Jose Veres no longer is closing games, Cubs manager Rick Renteria will hunt for opportunities to get Veres on the mound so he can work out his problems. “It could be at any moment,” Renteria said. “We could be up by 10 (or) down by 10. He needs to pitch. He’s talked about he wants to get back on the mound and throw.” . LHP Wade Miley (2-2) is scheduled to face Chicago RHP Jeff Samardzija (0-2) on Wednesday.
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