Jose Quintana pitched six strong innings. He allowed eight hits, two earned runs, walked two, and struck out two. It wasn’t his prettiest start, but it was effective. He frequently found himself in two-ball counts and had only one inning in which he did not allow a runner on base.
The offense, however, was clicking and kept putting runs on the board to give the Cubs a comfortable lead. After a Willson Contreras home run in the 2nd inning, the Cubs put two runs on the board in the 5th. They scored three in the 6th, and one run in the 7th. Then, in the 8th inning, Kris Bryant hit a two-out grand slam to cap off a six-run inning. The Cubs are finally back in first place after spending most of the season in third or worst, and it feels so good (Box score).
Why the Cubs Won
The Cubs were able to take advantage of their scoring opportunities, going 6-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
After the Cardinals put two on the board in the top of the 6th inning, the Cubs responded in the bottom half of the inning. Ben Zobrist and Kris Bryant both singled to set up Anthony Rizzo, who hit a two-run double into the right center gap. Willson Contreras added a run-scoring single in the inning, which was all the Cubs needed to secure the win, and the sweep.
Stats that Matter
- Jose Quintana allowed only one extra base hit.
- Willson Contreras went 2-for-3 with a homer, single, walk, two runs scored, and two runs driven in.
- Kris Bryant went 2-for-4 with a single, walk, and that beautiful grand slam in the 8th. He scored two runs and drove in four.
- Ben Zobrist did a great job in the leadoff spot, getting on base three times while scoring two runs.
The Cubs were able to complete the sweep, and take first place in the Central, against a hot Cardinals team. Not only did they beat the Cardinals team, but they dominated them, beating them by a combined 23-7.
The Cubs will welcome the Marlins to Wrigley Field on Monday, as they start a three-game series against the Fish. Cole Hamels will take the mound for the Cubs, while rookie Sandy Alcantara will start for Miami. First pitch will be made promptly at 7:05 CT, with CSN-Chicago broadcasting the game.