The Chicago Cubs needed a big performance out of José Quintana, and they certainly got it as the hurler pitched six shutout innings in a 6-0 triumph over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday afternoon.
Quintana gave up six hits and struck out four batters, but most importantly he kept a potent Reds offense off the board as the Cubs avenged Friday’s loss to the Reds.
Javier Báez hit a grand slam in the eighth inning of the contest to blow the game open, and Jason Heyward hit his second home run in as many days in the second inning of the game.
The Cubs got on the board first in the second inning, as Heyward clobbered his 13th home run of the season into the right field bleachers to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
From there, Quintana reeled off scoreless innings, keeping the Reds off the board for a total of six innings despite several good scoring threats from the home side.
The hurler was rewarded in the eighth inning when the Reds intentionally walked Anthony Rizzo to load the bases for Báez. The starting All-Star Game shortstop made quick work of a pitch from Jared Hughes, depositing it into the right field bleachers for his 20th home run of the season, and in the process gave the Cubs a commanding 5-0 lead.
Tempers flared in the eighth inning as Pedro Strop plunked Reds outfielder Yasiel Puig with a pitch, causing the benches to clear. Fortunately order was restored before anyone was ejected, and Strop managed to get out of the inning unscathed.
Kyle Schwarber added an RBI double in the ninth inning for good measure, and the Cubs put themselves in position to take the series on Sunday in the rubber match of a three-game set.
Jon Lester will take the hill for the Cubs in the game, which will start at 12:10 p.m.