MILWAUKEE (AP) — Jose Quintana pitched a three-hitter for his second big league shutout, and the Chicago 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. Milwaukee began the day one game behind Colorado for the NL’s second wild card.
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. Broxton was the only Milwaukee runner to advance past first, stealing second base in the fifth before pitcher Chase Anderson struck out.
Quintana’s other shutout was a seven-hitter for the Chicago White Sox against Cleveland on July 24, 2015.
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 lead 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.
Cubs: 2B Javier Baez was rested from the starting lineup after starting 16 of Chicago’s previous 17 games, then entered as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning.
Brewers: C Manny Pina was out of the lineup for the third straight game after injuring his left thumb during a play at the plate Thursday. Manager Craig Counsell said Pina will be evaluated Tuesday to determine whether he will be able to catch again this season.
Cubs: LHP Jon Lester (11-8, 4.56 ERA) will start the opener of a four-game series in St. Louis on Monday. He has an 8.22 ERA over his last five starts, allowing seven earned runs in two of those outings.
Brewers: RHP Zach Davies (17-9, 3.84 ERA) starts a three-game series Tuesday at home against Cincinnati. Davies is 1-1 with a 2.30 ERA in three starts against the Reds this season.
(© 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.)