After coming out of the All-Star break with two impressive offensive performances, the Chicago Cubs hope to continue the momentum in support of the newest addition to their rotation. Newly acquired left-hander Jose Quintana makes his Cubs debut as Chicago tries to wrap up a three-game sweep of the host Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.
The Cubs have scored 19 runs in the first two games of the series, and they hope to continue that trend behind Quintana, who suffered from a lack of run support while pitching for the Chicago White Sox. “I’ve always liked his body of work,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon told reporters. “To plug him in there with the rest of our guys could be exactly what we’re looking for in the second half. I would think our guys will be excited to play behind him for the first time.” The Cubs have slugged eight home runs in the first two contests, which doesn’t bode well for Baltimore right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez. Jimenez has surrendered 19 homers, including two or more in seven of his 13 starts.
TV: 1:35 p.m. ET, ABC 7 (Chicago), MASN (Baltimore)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cubs LH Jose Quintana (4-8, 4.49 ERA) vs. Orioles RH Ubaldo Jimenez (4-4, 6.67)
Quintana lowered his ERA nearly a full run over his last five starts with the White Sox, going 2-0 with a 2.43 ERA over that span. The 28-year-old Colombian matched his season high with 10 strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings in a no-decision at Colorado in his final start for the White Sox on July 8. Quintana is 1-4 with a 4.29 ERA in six starts against the Orioles.
Jimenez is 3-2 despite a 6.59 ERA in five starts since rejoining the rotation last month. The 33-year-old Dominican has turned in two excellent outings during that stretch, including eight scoreless innings at Toronto on June 29, but he was also tagged for nine runs in 2 1/3 innings in a loss at Tampa Bay. Jimenez is 1-3 with a 5.14 ERA in six games (five starts) against the Cubs, but he has faced them only once since 2009.
1. The Cubs have won eight of 11 all-time meetings, including four of five at Baltimore.
2. Baltimore DH Mark Trumbo is 11-for-36 during a season-best 10-game hitting streak, while 3B Manny Machado is 14-for-34 during a season-best eight-game streak.
3. Cubs C Willson Contreras is 14-for-37 in July and has hit safely in nine of 10 games this month.
PREDICTION: Cubs 7, Orioles 4