Jon Lester reaches 2,000-strikeout milestone, slams 1st HR of career

CHICAGO -- Cubs pitcher Jon Lester hit his first career home run, and became the 25th left-hander in league history to record 2,000 strikeouts when he struck out Arizona Diamondbacks pinch hitter Jack Reinheimer in the top of the fourth inning Tuesday night.

Lester, 33, is the 11th active pitcher and fourth lefty to record 2,000 strikeouts, joining CC Sabathia, Cole Hamels and Clayton Kershaw. He is also only the second pitcher after John Smoltz to homer and record his 2,000th strikeout in the same game, according to Elias Sports Bureau research.

Entering Tuesday's game, Lester needed nine strikeouts to reach 2,000. He reached that figure in just four innings while spoiling Reinheimer's first career at-bat.

Lester's third-inning homer, which helped the Cubs pound Arizona 16-4, went along with a single one inning earlier, giving him the first two-hit game of his career. The home run earned him a curtain call.

"It's really cool," Lester said. "I'll celebrate tonight and move on to the next one. When it's all said and done I'll sit back and go through everything. For me, it's really letting my kids know I was all right at my job."

Lester had a career batting average of .077 (15-for-196) before hitting that home run. But the left-hander was pulled after the first three batters reached in the fifth, falling short of his fourth straight victory.

"It was cool," Lester said of achieving both milestones. "It's something that you can't really describe. But like I told you, I get paid to pitch. At the end of the day, it's awesome, it's great. I'm not downplaying it, but I'd rather take the win over that."

Information from ESPN Stats & Information was used in this report.