There is a quiet confidence brewing the Cubs’ clubhouse, which might seem surprising given their sub-par record.

But after beating the Pittsburgh Pirates, 6-3, on Friday, the Cubs are coming together in all facets of the game. Friday marked their 11th win of the month, which already matches their total from May, and their 18-13 record since May 17 is the best in the National League.

“It’s the nicest I’ve felt about this team since I’ve been here,” first baseman Anthony Rizzo said. “Everyone is kind of starting to expect to win games now. We always do, but everyone is starting to come in with that extra swagger I guess you could say.”

Turnaround seasons from Rizzo, who hit a two-run double with the bases loaded in the third inning, and shortstop Starlin Castro, who followed with a three-run homer for a 5-0 lead, has been an important part of the Cubs’ recent stretch of good play.

The Cubs (31-40) put Pirates right-hander Charlie Morton (4-8) in a tough spot in the third, and it all started with the pitcher spot in the lineup. Starting pitcher Edwin Jackson hit a one-out single to start a stretch of five consecutive Cubs batters to reach base.

Luis Valbuena followed with a single to left field, and Chris Coghlan drew a full-count walk to load the bases for Rizzo. On a 2-2 pitch from Morton, Rizzo hit a 78-mph curveball for a two-run double to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead.

Castro wasted no time extending the Cubs’ lead. Batting fourth in the lineup, Castro crushed an 0-2 curveball over the left field wall for a three-run homer to put the Cubs ahead 5-0.