The Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs will begin a three-game series when they square off at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia on Tuesday night.
Lucky seven for Quintana
The Cubs have endured disastrous results away from the friendly confines of Wrigley Field, and their last outing appeared headed in that direction before they erupted for six unanswered runs. Chicago aims to ride the momentum of that 6-3 comeback victory over Cincinnati into Philadelphia on Tuesday when it continues a 10-game road trip with the opener of this three-game series. Kris Bryant belted a three-run homer in the seventh inning on Sunday, helping Chicago salvage a split of its four-game set while giving the club a 0-9-2 mark in its last 11 road series. Bryant tormented the Phillies in their visit to the Windy City, going 5-for-8 with two doubles and four runs scored in a pair of wins for the Cubs in late May.
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Left-hander Jose Quintana (10-7, 4.23 ERA) is taking the mound for Chicago on Tuesday. Quintana has turned his season around over the last seven weeks, posting a 6-0 record with a 3.67 ERA in his last seven starts to reach the 10-win plateau for the fourth straight year. The 30-year-old authored one of his best performances of the campaign last Wednesday, allowing just one run on two hits while striking out seven in as many innings of a 10-1 romp over Oakland.
Continuing to fight
The Cubs may not be great on the road, but the Phillies are not great in general. Philadelphia went 2-5 on a recent seven-game road trip against fellow NL wild-card contenders Arizona and San Francisco.
“It was a disappointing road trip; we didn’t execute enough on offense or on the mound,” manager Gabe Kapler lamented. “We go back home; we know we’re right in the hunt and we continue to fight…. We’ll get up and we’ll get up strong.”
Jason Vargas (6-6, 4.09 ERA) will oppose Quintana on Tuesday. The left-hander failed to build on a strong start in his Philadelphia debut on Aug. 2 with a subpar performance five days later, surrendering four runs and three walks in 5.0 innings of a 6-1 setback at Arizona. The 36-year-old got a no-decision against the Cubs on June 21 after yielding four runs on as many hits in 4.2 innings. Vargas has a 3-0 record with a 3.95 ERA in seven career starts with Chicago.
The Chicago Cubs are:
- 7-3 in their last 10 overall
- 5-1 in their last six games against teams with winning records
- 9-4 in their last 13 games following an off day
The Philadelphia Phillies:
- 1-5 in their last six overall
- 2-5 in their last seven games against left-handed starters
- 2-6 in their last eight home games following a road trip of at least seven days