By Warren Mayes, The Associated Press
ST. LOUIS — Addison Russell hit a three-run double in the first inning, then made a food run for fans in enemy territory while the Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 10-2 Monday night to move within a win of cinching a second straight NL Central title.
Chicago can wrap up the division with a win Tuesday against the Cardinals, or a loss by Milwaukee against Cincinnati.
Russell helped the Cubs build a big lead early, then made some friends out of rival fans. He delivered nachos to a fan down the third-base line a few innings after diving into the stands and spilling the fan’s original plate of chips.
Jon Lester (12-8) pitched six innings, allowing five hits and a run for the Cubs. Chicago is 11-2 in its last 13 games and 19-8 in its last 27.
The loss eliminated St. Louis from NL Central contention and dimmed the Cardinals’ wild-card hopes. Colorado entered Monday leading Milwaukee by two games and St. Louis by 2 1/2. The Brewers were idle Monday, and Miami played at Colorado.
Javier Baez hit a three-run homer in the third inning, but left the game shortly after fouling a pitch off his left leg in the eighth inning, but not until after hitting a single.
Luke Weaver (7-2) had won seven consecutive starts, but gave up eight runs in three innings.