Quintana says he’s ready for the season after pitching six innings against the Giants Thursday night.

Cubs’ Jose Quintana survives six innings but Giants walk off on Cubs in 9th

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Giants first baseman Jerry Sands singled through the left side of the infield to drive home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning against Cubs bullpen hopeful Randy Rosario to beat the Cubs 4-3 Thursday night in their Cactus League game.

Rosario already faced an uphill battle to catch right-hander Eddie Butler for what’s likely the final bullpen job.

Q factor

Jose Quintana finished his spring buildup toward the regular season, grinding out six innings and navigating enough traffic to give up just three runs (on a two-out, three-run homer by Buster Posey in the third).

RELATED STORIES Edwards vows to take command Nothing lost in translation between Darvish, Contreras

Quintana, who struck out five and walked two, has a scaled-back tuneup scheduled for Tuesday in Fort Myers, Fla., against the Red Sox, before making his season debut April 2 in Miami.

“I feel really good, and I’m ready to start the season,” said Quintana, who pitched to his starting catcher, Willson Contreras for the first time this spring. “I hugged him before the game and said, `I miss you, buddy.’ “

Catching fire

Contreras continued his hot hitting with two more hits, including a double, and a walk – scoring in the first inning on a two-out wild pitch.

He’s 12-for-33 (.364) with seven extra-base hits (.818 slugging) and three walks (.417 on-base percentage) this spring.

Enough time for Strop?

Setup man Pedro Strop pitched his second inning of the spring – first in a big-league game – after being slowed this spring by a calf injury.

He got two popups and a strikeout in the 1-2-3 seventh and afterward said he’d be ready to open the season on time.

“I don’t know what [team officials] think right now. I do know thy had a little concern about how many outings I would get,” said Strop said, who pitches again either Saturday or Sunday.

“I’m just going to prove what I said: I feel good.”

Hendricks watch

Kyle Hendricks, who threw a lengthy simulated game Tuesday when he skipped a scheduled start because of strep throat, was better by Thursday.

And manager Joe Maddon said he remains on schedule to make his final exhibition start, Sunday against the Royals.

Lester schedule

Opening-day starter Jon Lester has been scheduled to throw his final spring tuneup in a minor-league game Saturday afternoon rather than pitch in one of the Cubs’ split-squad night games Saturday.

Lefty long reliever Mike Montgomery is scheduled to start for the Cubs in Saturday night’s home game against Colorado; Butler is scheduled for the road half against the Mariners in Peoria, Ariz.

On deck: Brewers at Cubs, Mesa, Ariz., Brandon Woodruff vs. Tyler Chatwood, 3:05 p.m. Friday, 670-AM.

Follow me on Twitter @GDubCub

The Latest
Insightful at times but also incomplete, Netflix series explores Shekinah Church and its company 7M, which manages TikTok stars but resembles a cult.
Democrats will hold a virtual roll call to nominate President Joe Biden to a second term before the Chicago convention, running Aug.19-22, in order to qualify for the Ohio ballot, which requires candidates to be certified by Aug. 7.
Andrea Kersten, chief administrator of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, wrote in a letter to Police Supt. Larry Snelling that her office hadn’t received a written response to her earlier request to strip the tactical officers of their powers.
The second game of the series Tuesday was scheduled to start at 6:40 p.m.
More than 50 events across Chicago featuring local designers will take place in October, with many open to the public and free to attend.