With a lopsided 10-3 win on Saturday, the Chicago Cubs will hand the ball to left-hander Jose Quintana in the finale, as he makes his Cubs debut.
Over their first two games of the second half, the Chicago Cubs’ offense put up a combined 19 runs in wins over the Baltimore Orioles. Sure, the O’s pitching isn’t exactly an impressive bunch, but all the signs are positive for the reigning World Series champs.
Jake Arrieta made his return to Baltimore – his first such trip since the 2013 trade that brought him to Chicago. He pitched into the seventh, allowing only one unearned run and overcoming an early high pitch count in the process. Addison Russell homered for the second-straight game. Willson Contreras, meanwhile, turned in an all-around outstanding effort.
With the Brewers picking up a win as well, the Cubs remain 5 1/2 games back in both the National League Central and the Wild Card race. Still, there are plenty of head-to-head matchups left between the two moving forward.
Heading into Sunday, the Cubs have a chance for a series sweep. And, to get it done, they turn to recently-acquired left-hander Jose Quintana. The southpaw makes his seventh start of his career against the Orioles, against whom he owns a 4.29 ERA and 1.346 WHIP.
Quintana will have no training wheels in his Cubs debut. In fact, he’ll take the lead on Sunday, directing his battery mate in Contreras.
"“For the first outing or two you want to get Willson acclimated to what [Quintana] is comfortable doing and maybe what he’s not,” catching coach Mike Borzello said Saturday. “Not steering him down the wrong path just based on a scouting report. You want to stay with what his strengths are and then incorporate information that we have. It doesn’t hurt he’s playing a team he knows.”"
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Chicago goes for the sweep on Sunday afternoon in Baltimore. First pitch is at 12:35 p.m. CT.
Jose Quintana makes his Cubs debut and Ubaldo Jimenez starts for the Orioles.