Cubs sweep Pirates with 6-5 victory

Chicago Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman, left, celebrates with Kris Bryant after the Cubs defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-5 in a baseball game Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Nam Y. Huh/AP

CHICAGO (AP) Kris Bryant hit his 36th homer and made three solid plays at third base, helping Jason Hammel and the Chicago Cubs top the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-5 on Wednesday night for a three-game series sweep.

Addison Russell had two RBIs and an outstanding sliding catch as Chicago equaled the best August in franchise history with a 22-6 record, also accomplished in 1932. It was the Cubs' first time with 22 wins in a month since it went 22-10 in September 1945.

Heading into the final stretch of the season, the Cubs (85-47) are rapidly closing in on their first division title since 2008. They begin September with the majors' best record at a season-high 38 games over .500 and a whopping 15-game lead over second-place St. Louis in the NL Central.

Pittsburgh (67-64) closed out a 4-3 trip that began with a sweep in Milwaukee. It trails the Cardinals by 2 1/2 games for the second NL wild card.