Ryan Sweeney is taking full advantage of every day and every at-bat.
Sweeney nearly doubled his RBI total for the season on Sunday, driving in a career-high six runs, including three on his third home run of the year.
Anthony Rizzo knocked in four, adding a two-run homer in the eighth, to back Jeff Samardzija and lead the Cubs to a 14-6 Interleague victory over the Astros at Wrigley Field.
Maybe the Cubs should switch to the American League. With the win, they're now 8-3 against AL foes this season.
The season-high 14 runs and 16 hits helped Samardzija, who scattered nine hits over seven sweaty innings for his second straight win.
The right-hander was coming off an impressive victory over the Cardinals in St. Louis.
Samardzija had to adjust quickly against Houston. He didn't have much opportunity to use his go-to splitter.
Astros starter Jordan Lyles, who made his Major League debut at Wrigley on May 31, 2011, was charged with eight runs (five earned) over five innings.
He'd given up eight earned runs over his last seven starts combined.
Sweeney, who has taken over center field while David DeJesus heals from a sprained right shoulder suffered June 14, is making the most of his time in the lineup.
He hit a run-scoring groundout in the second to drive in Rizzo and RBI doubles in the third and in the fifth before launching a three-run homer in the seventh.
Sweeney helped the Cubs win their first home series since taking both games of a two-game set against the White Sox May 29-30.
This is a big year for the 28-year-old left-handed hitter from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
The game was a little sloppy on both sides. In the Chicago third, Samardzija singled to lead off, Luis Valbuena was safe on an error by shortstop Marwin Gonzalez and Starlin Castro walked to load the bases.
Nate Schierholtz lined a single to center, driving in two, and one out later, Rizzo hit a sacrifice fly to open a 4-0 lead. Sweeney then added an RBI double.
The Astros scored three runs in the fourth, including one on a throwing error by Castro.
Rizzo, who cut his curly hair before the game, belted his home run with one out in the eighth, and now has hit safely in four of his last five games.
This was is first multi-RBI game since June 5. Maybe the new look had something to do with it.
It has to be cooler without all the hair, which is now tucked in a plastic bag in his locker.
Samardzija, who hasn't considered a trim of his long hair, said he didn't mind having to sit in the dugout during the long innings.