Baez, Almora back Lester as Cubs rout Harvey, Mets 17-5

Javier Baez homered and had four hits, Albert Almora Jr. also went deep and drove in six runs after coming off the bench in the seventh inning, and the Chicago Cubs routed the New York Mets 17-5 on Wednesday night.

Jon Lester (11-7) threw six solid innings to win his third straight start. The left-hander gave up two runs and six hits.

The Cubs matched a season high for runs after pouring on 12 over their final three at-bats. They have outscored the Mets 25-8 the past two games.

It’s just what the NL Central leaders needed after managing only three runs in a weekend sweep by Milwaukee that tightened the division race. Chicago remained 2 1/2 games ahead of the Brewers and moved three up on St. Louis.

Kris Bryant had three hits and scored four runs. Ben Zobrist also scored four times.

Mets starter Matt Harvey (5-5) lasted just 3 1/3 innings in his third start back from a right shoulder injury. He allowed five runs and seven hits.

Willson Contreras had two hits and three RBIs for the Cubs, who took a 6-2 lead into the seventh before things really got out of hand.

Baez led off with a homer. Almora, who entered in the top half, added a three-run drive to make it 10-2 and hit a bases-loaded triple during a seven-run eighth.

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