Braves’ early homers sink Cubs; rookie pitches Cards past Colorado
Rookie Jose Quintana allowed two hits in eight stellar innings, Kevin Youkilis came through again with a go-ahead homer and the Chicago White Sox completed a three-game sweep of the Texas Rangers with a 2-1 victory Thursday.
On a scorching day at U.S. Cellular Field – with a first-pitch temperature of 99 degrees that hit 102 by the fourth inning – Quintana (4-1) walked one and struck out a career-high eight. He gave up a leadoff single to Ian Kinsler in the first and an RBI single to Adrian Beltre in the fourth on a line drive that hit the left-hander near the hip and bounded past first.
With a thunderstorm hitting the ball park in the ninth, Addison Reed pitched the final inning for his 12th save in 13 chances to help give Chicago the sweep in a meeting of division leaders.
Youkilis took All-Star Matt Harrison (11-4) deep in the sixth to break a 1-all tie, his sixth homer of the season and second since joining the White Sox in a trade from Boston last month.
It’s been quite a first homestand with his new team. Youkilis homered and had four RBIs in Tuesday night’s opener and delivered a winning single and two stellar defensive plays at third on Wednesday.
Braves 7, Cubs 3: Jason Heyward and Brian McCann each hit a two-run homer in the first inning, helping Mike Minor and the Braves win at home.
Freddie Freeman and Juan Francisco also connected for Atlanta, which salvaged a split of the four-game series. Minor (5-6) held the Cubs without a hit until the fifth and gave up three runs, two earned, and three hits in 6 1/3 innings overall.
Chicago right-hander Matt Garza (4-7), who could be one of the top starters on the market ahead of this month’s trade deadline, allowed five runs and five hits in four innings.
The Cubs’ first hit off Minor was a homer by Geovany Soto with one out in the fifth.
Anthony Rizzo led off the seventh with a single, then Alfonso Soriano walked. Pinch-hitter Reed Johnson delivered a two-out RBI single and Heyward made a wild throw to third base for an error, allowing Soriano to score.
Cardinals 6, Rockies 2: Rookie right-hander Lance Lynn tossed six shutout innings and Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran drove in a pair of runs apiece as the Cardinals won at home.
Lynn (11-4) bounced back with a strong effort following three successive poor outings. The All-Star surrendered four hits and struck out seven in winning for the first time since June 13 as St. Louis won for the 11th time in its last 14 games against Colorado.
Lynn, who got off to a 10-2 start this season, was 0-2 with a 9.98 ERA in his three previous starts.
Holliday went 1-for-4
with a run-scoring groundout in the first and a bases-loaded single in the fifth off Colorado starter Christian Friedrich (4-6).
Holliday is 34-for-68 with four homers and 21 RBIs in his last 18 games.
• Cubs (T.Wood 3-3) at Mets (J.Santana 6-4), 6:10 p.m. (CSN/94.3 FM, 720 AM)
• Blue Jays (Laffey 0-0) at White Sox (Peavy 6-5), 7:10 p.m. (CSN+/1240 AM, 670 AM)
• Marlins (Nolasco 7-6) at Cardinals (Westbrook 7-6), 7:15 p.m. (FSN/95.3 FM)