When the Chicago Cubs began their weekend series at Oriole Park they were 43-45 with eight losses in their last 12 games. They were 13-18 since June 6.
But the Cubs have bashed eight homers the last two nights in 9-8 and 10-3 wins in the first two games of this series. The Cubs have 26 hits in the two games and have gone 8-for-14 with runners in scoring position.
The two losses have the Orioles at 42-48 with 72 games remaining. The Orioles would have to go 47-25 to match last year’s win total of 89 victories.
In today’s series finale, Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jiménez (4-4, 6.67 ERA) makes his 19th appearance and 14th start of 2017. His last five starts show his inconsistencies, which O’s fans have seen on display since 2014.
* June 18 versus St. Louis: seven innings, two runs
* June 23 at Tampa Bay: 2 1/3 innings, nine runs
* June 29 at Toronto: eight innings, no runs
* July 4 at Milwaukee: five innings, five runs
* July 9 at Minnesota: five innings, four runs
Jiménez had his worst and best starts of the year back-to-back against the Rays and Jays. In six games (five starts) at home, he is 1-0 with a 7.24 ERA.
The Cubs send to the mound their newest pitcher today in left-hander José Quintana. He went 4-8 with a 4.49 ERA in 18 starts for the White Sox before the Cubs acquired him Thursday for a package of four prospects.
Quintana, who is 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA over his last seven starts since June 1, is under team control through 2020.
Named a 2016 American League All-Star, Quintana has gone 50-54 with a 3.51 ERA in 172 major league appearances, all but three as a starter, over the last six seasons with the White Sox. He has made 32 or more starts while reaching 200 or more innings in each of the last four seasons.
In six career starts against the Orioles, Quintana has gone 1-4 with a 4.29 ERA, allowing 17 earned runs over 35 2/3 innings. He faced the Orioles May 7 of this season at Camden Yards, allowing four runs on nine hits in five innings. He had not faced Baltimore previously since the 2014 season.
O’s third baseman Manny Machado hit an infield single in the eighth inning Saturday night to extend his season-long hitting streak to eight games. Machado is batting .412 (14-for-34) during this stretch. In his past five games he is 11-for-21.
Mark Trumbo singled in the ninth inning to extended his season-long hitting streak to 10 games. He is hitting .306 (11-for-36) during this stretch. Over his past 12 games, Trumbo has five homers and 10 RBIs.