Jon Lester took a no-hitter into the eighth as the Chicago Cubs rolled to a 4-0 win over the Atlanta Braves on the road Saturday night.
The Cubs left-hander had no pressure for most of the evening. That is, until the official scorer changed what had initially been ruled an Atlanta base hit in the first to an error on Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant with two-thirds of the game in the books.
Just like that, a seemingly normal Saturday night game at Turner Field became potentially historical – but, again, Lester fell just short – as former Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski lined a ball to right in the eighth, breaking up the no-hit bid.
Either way, Lester (5-8) finally got a little run support, after seeing his teammates manage just a dozen runs in his last nine outings. Saturday also ended a career-long stretch of 10 games in which he failed to record a win.
Chicago (48-40) opened the scoring in the top of the third, when Anthony Rizzo plated Bryant for the first run of the game. An errant pickoff throw by Atlanta starter Manny Banuelos had allowed the Chicago rookie to advance from first-to-third earlier in the frame, setting up the eventual RBI single.
A Starlin Castro RBI single pushed the Cubs’ lead to 2-0 in the fourth, which is where the lead remained until the Chicago offense added two insurance runs in the ninth.
Bryant drove in one of the runs with a run-scoring groundout, while Rizzo came through with an RBI single to center to account for the final tally of the night.
Rizzo went 2-for-4 with the two RBI to lead the Chicago offense, while Chris Denorfia also added a pair of hits in the win.
Chicago will take on Atlanta again Sunday at Turner Field at 4:05 p.m. CT.
Neither team has announced starting pitchers.