EditorsNote: rewords last graf
Jose Quintana fanned seven batters in 6 2/3 scoreless innings, and the Chicago Cubs earned a 3-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field.
Chicago increased its lead to two games over Milwaukee in the National League Central with less than three weeks remaining in the regular season. The St. Louis Cardinals also are in the mix as they remained 3 1/2 games behind the Cubs by beating Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
Quintana (13-9), who gave up three hits and walked two, matched his single-season high for victories. The left-hander from Colombia won his third straight decision and allowed two runs or fewer for the fifth outing in a row.
Brewers starter Jhoulys Chacin (14-7) allowed two runs (one earned) on one hit in five innings. The 10-year veteran walked one and struck out five. His night ended when Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell sent pinch hitter Domingo Santana to the plate in the sixth.
Cubs reliever Pedro Strop pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his 13th save.
The Cubs grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second. Ben Zobrist led off the inning and reached on a fielding error by Brewers second baseman Jonathan Schoop. Zobrist swiped second base, and Javier Baez fell behind in the count 0-2 but fought back to draw a walk.
After a Tommy La Stella groundout moved the runners up, an errant pickoff throw by Chacin sailed into center field, allowing Zobrist to score from second and Baez to advance to third.
Victor Caratini made it a two-run inning when he singled just over the glove of a leaping Schoop. The hit marked the end of a grueling 10-pitch at-bat that included seven consecutive foul balls.
Santana was unable to spark a rally in the sixth in his pinch-hit appearance, but the Brewers pressured the Cubs in the seventh. They loaded the bases with two outs after Jesus Aguilar singled, Travis Shaw walked and Hernan Perez reached on an infield single.
Chicago manager Joe Maddon pulled Quintana and brought in lefty reliever Justin Wilson to face Brewers pinch hitter Manny Pina. Wilson pounded three consecutive fastballs in the zone, with Pina swinging at strike three to strand the bases loaded.
In the bottom of the seventh, Caratini struck again with a double down the left field line that scored La Stella.
—Field Level Media