Lester (12-2) allowed three runs on six hits and three walks with seven strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. With the win, Chicago heads into the All-Star break with a 2 ½-game lead in the National League Central.
All five of the Cubs runs in the first two innings were scored against Padres rookie left-hander Eric Lauer, who fell to 5-6. He allowed five runs on five hits and three walks and departed after the second.
Anthony Rizzo opened the game by beating the Padres shift by rolling a single to left. Kris Bryant drew a walk, and after Jason Heyward flew out to right, Javier Baez singled home Rizzo. Addison Russell followed with an RBI single that plated Bryant and Baez scored on Ben Zobrist's ground out.
Rizzo again beat the shift with a bloop double to left to put Cubs at second and third with one-out in the second. Heyward drove both runners home with a two-out, seeing-eye single to center. The Cubs widened their lead to 6-0 in the top of the fourth when David Bote stole second, moved to third on catcher Austin Hedges' throwing error and scored on Rizzo's sacrifice fly to left.
The Padres got on the board in the bottom of the fourth on Christian Villanueva's 19th homer of the season. The Cubs scored in the top of the sixth when Bryant was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. The Padres got two in the bottom of the inning off Lester on a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch and a base-loaded walk.
Right-hander Brandon Morrow closed out the ninth to pick up his 22nd save for the Cubs.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)