What a thrill for Cubs starting pitcher Jose Quintana. To tear into his first career extra-base hit, that is.
“I don’t remember when was the last time I hit the ball like that,” he said.
Quintana did it in the second inning of a 7-1 victory Friday against the Brewers at Wrigley Field, driving in David Bote to make it 3-0. Truth be told, delivering a scoreless outing and notching his team-high 12th win of the season was an even bigger deal to the veteran left-hander.
It was his 14th start against the Brewers as a Cub — more times than any other pitcher in baseball has faced any opponent since the 2017 All-Star break. His record in those games: a slick 7-4 with a 3.02 ERA.
The Cubs moved to 6-1 at home against the Brewers, and 12-1 at home against the Brewers and Cardinals. The Cardinals’ division lead is down to one game.
Quintana is on one of the best tears of his career — an 8-1 record in his last 11 starts.
“I feel great right now,” he said. “It’s time to get the best we have in the tank, and let’s do it. Keep it going.”
Kyle Schwarber crushed his team-leading 32nd home run off lefty Alex Claudio in the eighth.
It tied him with Anthony Rizzo and Rick Monday for the most homers by a Cubs left-handed hitter since Billy Williams had 37 in 1972. Rizzo has finished with 32 three times.
Better days ahead
It was a rough day at the office for Brewers second baseman Keston Hiura.
First, he went down next to the bag for several seconds in the third inning after having his left leg taken out on a hard slide by Schwarber.
Running out a grounder in his next at-bat, he pulled up with discomfort in his left hamstring and had to leave the game.
The Cubs activated lefty Cole Hamels from the paternity list. He’ll start Saturday opposite the Brewers’ Zach Davies.