CHICAGO -- Rookie Ian Happ did it all on Saturday afternoon, hitting an RBI single in the first inning and a solo home run in the fourth and scoring the tiebreaking run on Javier Baez's single in the sixth to spark the Cubs to a 4-3 Interleague victory over the
CHICAGO -- Rookie Ian Happ did it all on Saturday afternoon, hitting an RBI single in the first inning and a solo home run in the fourth and scoring the tiebreaking run on Javier Baez's single in the sixth to spark the Cubs to a 4-3 Interleague victory over the Blue Jays at Wrigley Field.
Jose Quintana struck out eight over six innings for the win, his second against the Blue Jays this year -- but this time, with a different Chicago team. The lefty beat Toronto on June 16 while pitching for the White Sox, who traded Quintana to the Cubs in mid-July. He's now 7-2 in 10 career starts against the Blue Jays.
"This time, I had better command," Quintana said, comparing Saturday's outing with his last start for the Cubs, when he lasted five innings against the Reds. "I tried to get quick outs and get longer in the game. It was a close game, but I got really good support. Today, I felt better than the last time, and I'm happy with my command today."
It was Quintana's fifth quality start in seven outings with the Cubs.
"He was getting [his fastball] there today for a strike. His curve was definitely more pertinent today," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "I saw him pitch with his fastball well and accurately, and he did a great job."
Anthony Rizzo added an RBI single in the seventh for the Cubs, who have a two-game lead over the Brewers and a 2 1/2-game lead over the Cardinals the National League Central. The Blue Jays are four games behind the Angels and Twins for the second American League Wild Card spot.
Happ singled and homered off Toronto starter Nick Tepesch, who lasted 3 2/3 innings, giving up five hits and walking three. With the game tied at 2 in the Chicago sixth against Danny Barnes, Happ walked to lead off, and two outs later, he scored on Baez's single to center that snuck between Blue Jays second baseman Rob Refsnyder and shortstop Darwin Barney.
The Blue Jays tallied on Raffy Lopez's two-run single in the fourth off Quintana and Kevin Pillar's RBI single with two outs in the eighth off Hector Rondon.
"In this ballpark, you have to hit home runs, and we haven't hit one yet," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "We pulled it close, another close ballgame -- they snuck a ball through to put them on top -- but I thought we pitched very well. The bullpen guys came in, and it just wasn't good enough today."
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Wade Davis got the final three outs for his 26th save in 26 chances, tying the franchise record set by Ryan Dempster, who saved 26 in a row for the Cubs from Aug. 2, 2005-May 1, 2006.
"He's just really turning it on right now for me," Maddon said of Davis. "Right now, he's pitching pretty close to his optimal level. From our perspective, don't overuse him. He's starting to feel it. That cutter was really good today. The strike-throwing is really improving. When he's at that level, he can get anybody out. I think he's peaking at the right time. The last couple outings, he's looking sharper than normal."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Hit machine: Happ delivered an RBI single with the bases loaded and one out in the first, then led off the Cubs' fourth with his 18th home run, crushing a 2-1 pitch from Tepesch 417 feet into the left-field bleachers to tie the game at 2. The blast came as the Blue Angels jets were flying around Wrigley Field, part of the Chicago Air and Water Show. Happ hit two home runs on Thursday against the Reds, and the rookie is close to joining five teammates who have already reached the 20-homer mark.
"Today, he trended well against [Tepesch], and it played out nicely," Maddon said of Happ, who bounced back after striking out four times on Friday. More >
Glove work: Cubs third baseman Kristopher Bryant had a busy day. In the Blue Jays' second, Steve Pearce lined a double down the left-field line past a diving Bryant. Bryant then snared Pillar's popup, although he first deflected it in the air, then made a barehanded grab. It wasn't all smooth, as Bryant fielded Barney's grounder but overthrew first baseman Rizzo for an error. In the Blue Jays' third, Jose Bautista hit a grounder to Bryant, who dived for the ball, and he was able to throw from his knees to first in time.
"Down the line, in the hole, off the bag, all kinds of crazy stuff down there," Maddon said of Bryant. "He made some really good plays, too. He had a lot of tweener -- awkward -- moments and plays. I thought he did a great job of hanging in there."
"It was the Baez show the last couple of days. We've seen plenty of that on TV." -- Gibbons, on Baez, who has made several highlight-reel plays during this series, including a stellar play on Ryan Goins in the ninth
"He's just that guy -- he's that guy who is a game-changer. He's incredibly gifted, and I think one of his best gifts is his short-term memory, and he doesn't carry a bad moment to the next moment. That's why I think he'll be so good a year or two from now. He'll keep moving forward, understand the at-bats better. He's going to make less mistakes on routine stuff." -- Maddon, on Baez
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With his RBI single in the seventh, Rizzo now has 13 RBIs in his past six games, reaching base at least twice in each game.
American Legion week wraps up on Sunday, and the Cubs now are 13-2 all-time. What's American Legion week? Maddon wants players to get rest, report late, and do less pregame work to cope with the dog days of August.
Blue Jays: Right-hander Marco Estrada will take the mound for Toronto when this series wraps up on Sunday, with first pitch scheduled for 2:20 p.m. ET. Estrada allowed six runs on 10 hits in his last outing vs. the Rays, but before that, he had allowed three earned runs or fewer in four consecutive starts.
Cubs:Kyle Hendricks will close the Interleague series on Sunday. He's gone 3-3 with a 2.85 ERA in his past 13 starts, and he threw six scoreless innings in his last outing against the Reds. First pitch is scheduled for 1:20 p.m. CT at Wrigley Field.
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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.