Cubs cap sweep as Quin­tana sparkles

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - SPORTS -


BAL­TI­MORE — Jose Quin­tana is well aware of the lofty ex­pec­ta­tions that came with his trade to the Chicago Cubs.

He cer­tainly im­pressed his new team­mates in his de­but.

Quin­tana struck out a sea­son-high 12 in seven sharp in­nings and the Cubs beat the Bal­ti­more Ori­oles 8-0 Sunday for a three-game sweep.

“It was my first out­ing with the Cubs, but af­ter the first in­ning, I felt re­ally good,” Quin­tana said. “I threw every­thing in the first in­ning and just fo­cused on mak­ing quick outs.”

Ac­quired by the de­fend­ing World Se­ries cham­pi­ons dur­ing the All-Star break from the Chicago White Sox for a play­off push, Quin­tana gave the Cubs ex­actly the kind of boost they hoped to get.

“It could re­ally be a big boon to us, there’s no ques­tion,” Chicago Man­ager Joe Mad­don said. “Every­body else saw it.”

The lefty al­lowed three hits, walked none and joined Matt Garza as the only pitch­ers in Cubs his­tory to strike out 12 in their de­but.

Kris Bryant and An­thony Rizzo hit home runs to help the Cubs move over .500 for the first time since June 29. The Cubs hit 10 home runs dur­ing the sweep at Cam­den Yards.

Chicago took ad­van­tage of an­other wild start by Ubaldo Jimenez (4-5) and opened a 4-0 lead in the sec­ond. Will­son Con­tr­eras added a ca­reer-high four hits.

The Cubs traded their top two prospects, out­fielder Eloy Jimenez and righthander Dy­lan Cease, along with in­field­ers Matt Rose

and Bryant Flete, to get Quin­tana. He was 4-8 with a 4.49 ERA for the White Sox.

Chicago be­gan the day 5½ games be­hind in the races for the NL Cen­tral and sec­ond wild-card spot.

“We’re play­ing a world cham­pion team that ev­ery­one knew was go­ing to get go­ing at some point,” Ori­oles Man­ager Buck Showal­ter said. “Un­for­tu­nately,

they started here. They’re on the top of their game. They have a lot of good pieces.

“We were not up to the chal­lenge.”

Quin­tana re­tired nine con­sec­u­tive bat­ters un­til Adam Jones led off the fourth with a dou­ble. This was the 10th time in his ca­reer, and third this sea­son, he fanned at least 10.

Ian Happ had a tworun dou­ble and scored on Ja­son Hey­ward’s single in the sec­ond. Hey­ward stole sec­ond and scored the fourth run on a twoout single by Ben Zo­brist.

A two-run home run by Bryant, his 19th, boosted the mar­gin to 6-0 in the fourth.

Jimenez al­lowed 6 runs and 11 hits, 1 shy of ty­ing a ca­reer-high, over 32/3 in­nings. He has not pitched past the fifth in­ning in four of his past five starts.

Rizzo hit his 22nd home run in the ninth off Dar­ren O’Day.

“I re­ally be­lieve if we play with that kind of in­ter­nal fire, that kind of en­ergy we’ll win a lot of games in the sec­ond half,” Mad­don said.

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