08/18 23:13 CDT Quintana, Rizzo lead Cubs past Pirates 7-1 at LLWS
Quintana, Rizzo lead Cubs past Pirates 7-1 at LLWS
By ANDY ELDER
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) --- Jos Quintana, Anthony Rizzo and the Chicago Cubs
put on quite a show.
The grinning Little Leaguers soaked in every moment.
Quintana pitched seven crisp innings, Rizzo hit a two-run homer and the Chicago
Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-1 on Sunday night in the MLB Little League
Surrounded by smiling Little Leaguers wearing their uniforms in the stands at
BB&T Ballpark, Quintana (11-7) allowed five hits, struck out seven and walked
none. The left-hander improved to 7-0 in nine starts since his last loss June
"His stuff's the same, but it's being utilized more regular, one curveball, one
changeup. His command was spectacular," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "(His)
confidence could not be higher. He's been magnificent."
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said it was the best he had ever seen from
"Some really good stuff from him tonight," he said. "Unfortunate for us."
Nicholas Castellanos and Jason Heyward also connected as Chicago earned its
second straight win since consecutive heartbreaking losses to the Phillies and
The Cubs took two of three in the unusual weekend set and remain in a virtual
tie with St. Louis for the top spot in the NL Central. It was the first road
series win for Chicago since May 17-19 against Washington.
"For our team, it was kind of a blessing in disguise to get out of our routine
on the road, to win this road series," Rizzo said.
Starling Mart had three hits for Pittsburgh, including his 21st homer in the
ninth against Craig Kimbrel.
Castellanos went deep in the first inning against Mitch Keller (1-2), and
Heyward added another solo shot in the third. It was Castellanos' sixth homer
since coming over in a July 31 trade with Detroit.
The Cubs added two more in the fourth on Kyle Schwarber's two-run single, and
then put it away with three in the fifth.
Kris Bryant chased Keller with a run-scoring double, and Rizzo made it 7-0 when
he greeted Chris Stratton with a drive off the scoreboard in left-center for
his 23rd homer.
Last-place Pittsburgh dropped to 7-27 since the All-Star break. Keller was
charged with six runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Kimbrel, who was activated from the 10-day injured list before the game, got
the first two outs in the ninth in his first game since Aug. 3. He gave up
Mart's homer and hit Cole Tucker before striking out two.
Rizzo said the whole day, including interactions with Little Leaguers prior to
the game at the airport and at the Little League complex, was special.
"It was fun," he said. "The smiles on their faces. For me, I always wanted to
come here but never got to come here. To be able to come and experience that
... it was a really cool experience."
Maddon grew up in Hazelton, about 70 miles east of Williamsport.
"I played Little League 1 hour, 12 minutes from here in Hazleton," he said. "We
always wanted to make it to Williamsport. It's hard to do."
Pirates pitcher Chris Archer also enjoyed the experience.
"Getting off the plane and seeing how excited the kids were was really
special," he said. "Even the team from Valenzuela, they didn't speak a whole
lot of English, none really, but they wanted to engage."
Cubs: Kimbrel was sidelined with right knee inflammation.
Pirates: Catcher Francisco Cervelli continues his rehab assignment with
Triple-A Indianapolis. He was placed on the injured list on May 26 with a
Cubs: Following an off day, LHP Cole Hamels (6-4, 3.69 ERA) starts Tuesday
against San Francisco after allowing a season-high eight runs Aug. 14 at
Pirates: RHP Trevor Williams (5-5, 5.25 ERA) looks for a win in a second
straight start, against Washington on Monday.
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