Some days, everything seems to go right. For the Chicago Cubs, Sunday was one of those days as the club completed a sweep of the Baltimore Orioles.
Making his first start as a member of the Chicago Cubs, Jose Quintana was lights-out in Sunday’s series finale. The southpaw pitched seven shutout frames, striking out 12 and walking none. That marked a new season-high for Quintana.
All afternoon, he commanded all four quadrants, mixing speeds and pitches masterfully. He allowed only three hits. Baltimore failed to break into the hit column until the top of the fourth with an Adam Jones double.
Chicago (46-45) was once again led by catcher Willson Contreras. The fiery backstop ended the afternoon 4-for-5, capping a dominant offensive series. Sunday marks his first career four-hit game in the bigs. Kris Bryant put together a second-straight three-hit effort, as well.
The North Siders wasted no time in staking their new teammate to a comfortable lead. With men at second and third and no one out, Ian Happ doubled into left-center, driving in a pair. Jason Heyward followed with a single, scoring Happ from second to make it 3-0.
Keeping things rolling, Ben Zobrist singled, as well, driving in Heyward, who swiped second base in the inning to put himself in scoring position.
In the top of the fourth, Kris Bryant chased Baltimore starter Ubaldo Jimenez with his 19th home run of the season, a two-run shot to left-center. His blast left the bat at 113 mph – and was an absolute no-doubter.
Rizzo overcomes a rough start
After hitting into a double play and striking out earlier in the game, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo crushed a blast to center – his team-leading 22nd home run of the year. That homer capped the scoring, giving Chicago an 8-0 lead.
On the series, the Cubs outscored Baltimore by a staggering 27-11 margin. For an offense that has struggled this year, the consistency and brute force is definitely a promising trend.
Chicago heads south to Atlanta at new SunTrust Park on Monday. Jon Lester (5-6, 4.25 ERA) battles right-hander Julio Teheran (7-6, 4.69 ERA) in the opener.
First pitch is at 6:35 p.m. CT.