Cubs Blank Brewers, Pirates Beat Cardinals


Published on September 25 2017 6:32 am
Last Updated on September 25 2017 6:33 am


Jose Quintana was acquired by the Chicago Cubs for big games, and he came through big against the Brewers.

Quintana pitched a three-hitter for his second big league shutout, and the Cubs beat Milwaukee 5-0 on Sunday to close in on a second straight NL Central title and damage the Brewers' playoff hopes.

Coming off its first World Series title since 1908, Chicago (87-68) won three of four in the weekend series and opened a 5 1/2-game lead over the second-place Brewers (82-73) with seven games remaining.

Obtained from the White Sox on July 13, Quintana is pitching on a team headed for the playoffs for the first time in his big league career.

"We talked about it when he got over here," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "He was really jacked up about having a chance to play in the playoffs. He's showing that right now. Games like that, to me, can be kind of career-altering for a pitcher. When you pitch a complete game shutout, on the road, under these circumstances, that definitely does something for your interior."

Quintana (7-3 with Cubs, 11-11 overall) struck out 10 and walked one in his second complete game in 182 starts. He threw 116 pitches, his most since Sept. 7 last year.

He allowed singles to Ryan Braun in the first, Hernan Perez in the third and Keon Broxton in the fifth, and retired his final 11 batters after Domingo Santana walked in the sixth.

Only two runners reached second base, with both getting into scoring position on a stolen base. Quintana struck out pitcher Chase Anderson with Broxton on second in the fifth and got Travis Shaw to fly out to center with Santana on second in the sixth.

"I felt really good out there," Quintana said. "I'm so happy to get this last game of this series. I know it was a huge game. My confidence was high. I was able to save the bullpen after the last three games."

Quintana's other shutout was a seven-hitter for the Chicago White Sox against Cleveland on July 24, 2015.

Milwaukee dropped two games behind Colorado for the NL's second wild card with six games left.

"I know we are behind, but I feel like if we have a good week of baseball it is more dependent on us and not counting on something else to happen completely," manager Craig Counsell said.

Anderson (11-4) gave up three runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings. He had been 4-0 in five starts since losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Aug. 25.

Jon Jay singled led off the fourth and scored on Kris Bryant's double. Wilson Contreras reached on an infield single starting the seventh, a call that stood after a video review, and Ben Zobrist hit a two-run homer. Anthony Rizzo added a two-run double in the eighth against Carlos Torres.

"I probably should have gone with a different pitch to Zobrist," Anderson said. "He always ambushes with guys on base."

Pirates 4, Cardinals 1

The St. Louis Cardinals are running out of time to make their September surge extend their season beyond the first day of October.

Seung Hwan Oh's difficult season hit another low point when he surrendered a go-ahead two-run homer to Pittsburgh's Starling Marte in the fifth inning on Sunday as the Pirates pulled away for a 4-1 victory to blunt the Cardinals' momentum heading into the regular season's final week.

St. Louis dropped 2 1/2 games behind Colorado for the NL's second wild card, mustering just four hits against Jameson Taillon and five relievers while falling to Pittsburgh for the second time in less than 24 hours. The Cardinals headed home for a seven-game homestand starting on Monday against the Chicago Cubs with little wiggle room left.

"Yeah we understand the urgency," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. "We understand all the numbers. We just don't spend too much time on them because they're irrelevant to what we have to do. What we have to do is go play good baseball, that's it."

The Cardinals came into Pittsburgh riding a sweep of Cincinnati. They leave having dropped two of three to the Pirates. On Saturday night Pittsburgh chased Lance Lynn in the first inning of an 11-6 romp. On Sunday the Pirates relied on five strong innings from Taillon (8-7) and pounced when Oh (1-6) ran into trouble in the fifth.

With the score 1-1, Pat Bostick singled against Oh leading off the inning and Starling Marte followed with his seventh home run . The drive was the 10th allowed by Oh this season in 62 appearances. He gave up just five in 76 games a rookie in 2016.

"Obviously, everyone can see how it is, very tough," Oh said through a translator. "None of the fastballs or off-speed pitches are working well."

Jordan Luplow went deep an inning later off Brett Cecil to give Pittsburgh a three-run cushion. Taillon labored at times through his final home start of the season and needed 95 pitches to get 15 outs. He kept the Cardinals in check and five pitchers combined for hitless relief, with Felipe Rivero striking out two in a perfect ninth for his 19th save in 21 chances.

"The command was a little off, but he made pitches at crunch time throughout the game," Hurdle said of Taillon. "His competitive fire was burning."

Matt Carpenter hit his 22nd home run for St. Louis but the Cardinals went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base. St. Louis had a chance to close the gap in the seventh, loading the bases with two outs. Pittsburgh reliever George Kontos got Tommy Pham to hit into a forceout to end the threat.

"We were getting two outs, men in scoring position, bases loaded," Matheny said. "Someone's got to come through and do something really big and it didn't happen. It's not easy to do."

White Sox 8, Royals 1

Lucas Giolito has been billed as a big part of the rebuilding plan for the Chicago White Sox.

He's starting to live up to expectations.

The rookie right-hander pitched seven strong innings and Avisail Garcia drove in three runs with his 18th homer and a double to lead the Chicago White Sox past the fading Kansas City Royals 8-1 on Sunday.

Kevan Smith had a solo homer and a single for two RBI as Chicago took two of three from the Royals and dropped them 5 1/2 games behind Minnesota for the second AL wild card. Kansas City has seven games left.

The 23-year-old Giolito (3-3) allowed five hits while striking out five and walking none in his 11th major league start. Acquired from Washington with two other top pitching prospects last December, the 6-foot-6 Giolito has given up just four runs over 20 innings in his last three outings.

He thinks he can keep it up.

"I'd say that just the confidence and everything is right where it needs to be, so I'm going to continue to try and pitch like I am," Giolito said. "I trust my stuff. I trust my pitches."

Chicago manager Rick Renteria has been impressed, even if he isn't ready to pencil in Giolito at the top of the rotation for next season.

"We're really happy with the way he's progressed," Renteria said. "Obviously, he attacks the strike zone.

"I think it was a 2-to-1 ratio of strikes today, something like that. He gets after it."

Lorenzo Cain's homer on a high curveball in the fourth was the only run off Giolito, who threw 65 of 98 pitches for strikes.

Royals starter Ian Kennedy (4-13) allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings as he lost his seventh straight decision. The right-hander hasn't won since July 26 at Detroit.

"When you hear the score, didn't reflect what the stat line shows," Kennedy said. "I felt better than the results."

Manager Ned Yost agreed, even if the Royals' playoff hopes were all but dashed.

"I felt like (Kennedy) was much, much better," Yost said, "but we just couldn't generate any offense off Giolito."

Chicago's Tim Anderson singled twice to extend his career-high hitting streak to 15 games.

Garcia hit a two-run shot to right-center in the first to give Chicago a 2-0 lead.

Cain led off the fourth a drive into the bullpen in left to cut it to 2-1, but Smith lofted a solo shot in the bottom half.

Yolmer Sanchez doubled home Adam Engel in the fifth to make it 4-1. Smith singled in Anderson from second in the sixth.

The White Sox broke it open with three runs in the seventh. Garcia's double to the corner in right drove in the first one. Mike Moustakas' error at third base allowed two more to score.

Sunday, September 24 Scoreboard

Minnesota 10, Detroit 4

Toronto 9, New York Yankees 5

Boston 5, Cincinnati 4

Washington 3, New York Mets 2

Baltimore 9, Tampa Bay 4

Philadelphia 2, Atlanta 0

Pittsburgh 4, St. Louis 1

Chicago Cubs 5, Milwaukee 0

Chicago White Sox 8, Kansas City 1

Oakland 8, Texas 1

Los Angeles Dodgers 3, San Francisco 1

Cleveland 4, Seattle 2

Arizona 3, Miami 2

Colorado 8, San Diego 4

Los Angeles Angels 7, Houston 5


Monday, September 25 Schedule (All Times Central)

Kansas City at New York Yankees, 12:05 p.m.

Atlanta ta New York Mets, 3:10 p.m.

Washington at Philadelphia, 6:05 p.m.

Toronto at Boston, 6:10 p.m.

Atlanta at New York Mets, 6:10 p.m.

Houston at Texas, 7:05 p.m.

Los Angeles Angels at Chicago White Sox, 7:10 p.m.

Chicago Cubs at St. Louis, 7:15 p.m.

Miami at Colorado, 7:40 p.m.

San Francisco at Arizona, 8:40 p.m.

Seattle at Oakland, 9:05 p.m.

San  Diego at Los Angeles Dodgers, 9:10 p.m.