Chicago hit 3 homers to top slumping Astros

Mike Tauchman hit two home runs and drove in four runs, Cody Bellinger added a two-run homer, and the Chicago Cubs opened a three-game series against the visiting Houston Astros with a 7-2 win on Tuesday.

Bellinger and Tauchman each homered against Astros starter J.P. France (0-3) during a five-run first inning for Chicago, which has won seven of its past 10 games.

Jordan Wicks (1-2) allowed two runs on five hits with zero walks and four strikeouts over a season-high six innings. Ben Brown, Mark Leiter, Jr., and Yency Almonte combined for three scoreless innings in relief.

Jake Meyers hit a solo homer, and Jose Altuve and Kyle Tucker had two hits apiece for Houston, which has lost 10 of its past 13 games. The Astros have scored a total of six runs during their current three-game skid.

Ian Happ, who returned after missing two games due to left hamstring tightness, began the Cubs’ first-inning outburst with a one-out double. Bellinger followed with his fifth homer of the season, a two-run blast to right field.

After Michael Busch struck out, France walked Christopher Morel and gave up a single to Dansby Swanson before Tauchman homered to left field.

Houston pushed across a run in the fourth inning when Yainer Diaz’s two-out double scored Tucker from second base. The Astros pulled closer on Meyers’ two-out solo homer to left field in the fifth inning.

France pitched five innings, allowing five runs on five hits with four walks and six strikeouts.

The Cubs loaded the bases with one out in the sixth inning against Tayler Scott and moved ahead 6-2 when Swanson scored on Nico Hoerner’s fielder’s choice.

Tauchman hit a leadoff homer in the eighth inning against Seth Martinez. Tauchman is 9-for-20 (.450) with two homers and six RBIs in his past six games.

Bellinger exited the game in the seventh inning with a right rib contusion. Bellinger was unable to make a catch after hitting the center-field wall on a ball hit by Diaz in the fourth inning.

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