Baez, Almora homer as Cubs rout Mets 17-5

Chicago Cubs left fielder Jon Jay (30) and Chicago Cubs second baseman Javier Baez, right, celebrate after defeating the New York Mets 8-3 after a baseball game in Chicago on Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)

CHICAGO (AP) — Javier Baez homered and had four hits, Albert Almora Jr. also went deep and drove in six runs, and the Chicago Cubs routed the New York Mets 17-5 on Wednesday night.

The Cubs matched a season high for runs after pouring on 12 over their final three at-bats. They have outscored the Mets 25-8 the past two games.

It’s just what the NL Central leaders needed after managing only three runs in a weekend sweep by Milwaukee that tightened the division race. Chicago remained 2 1/2 games ahead of the Brewers and moved three up on St. Louis.

Kris Bryant had three hits and scored four runs. Ben Zobrist also scored four times.