CHICAGO — Kris Bryant saw the adjustments Javier Baez was working on before the game with his swing. Then, he saw the results.
Baez came within a double of the cycle with four hits and three RBIs, Kyle Schwarber broke out of a slump with a three-run homer and the Chicago Cubs defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 8-3 on Tuesday night.
Baez hit his second homer in as many days and tied his career high with hits, and Bryant homered and tripled for the Cubs, who won for the second time in six games.
Baez has been trying to improve his swing after a slow offensive April.
"I was watching him in his pregame and I think that something he was focusing on was trying to limit his leg kick a little bit," Bryant said. "And I saw it in the game. I was pretty impressed. He went from the cage right to the game. I don't know — it's just what I saw. I thought he looked awesome today. He was right on everything."
Cubs starter Jon Lester (1-1) pitched long enough to earn his first victory of the season. He struck out five and worked around five walks and four hits. He allowed three runs, two earned, in five innings.
Lester improved to 11-2 at Wrigley Field since the start of the 2016 season. He also improved to 7-0 against the Phillies in nine starts.
Phillies starter and Des Moines native Jeremy Hellickson (4-1) had his worst outing of the season, allowing six runs on eight hits in four innings. He was tagged for three homers at chilly Wrigley Field.
Hellickson went to high school at Des Moines Hoover.
Lester singled in the fourth with two outs for his first hit of the season, and Baez followed with another single. Then, Schwarber, in a 4-for-38 slump, homered to right on a 2-0 pitch. It was his first home run since April 18. Bryant followed with a triple and scored on Ben Zobrist's double to give the Cubs a 6-2 lead.
With two outs, Hellickson was close to getting out of the inning.
"It was a bad pitch, a bad curveball. It's about as frustrating as it gets. Nobody on, two outs and the pitcher up, 1-2 count. Yeah, it doesn't get more frustrating than that," Hellickson said.
Before the game, Maddon discussed Schwarber's struggles and said he had no intentions of pulling him out of the leadoff spot.
"It takes one at-bat to have a great night. That's what I tell to anybody struggling like he has been," Maddon said. "He had a great night."