CHICAGO -- Jake Arrieta gave up two earned runs on five hits over 6 2/3 innings and the Cubs scored three in the seventh inning off the White Sox bullpen to take control in a 6-3 victory Saturday night at U.S. Cellular Field. The Cubs have won nine straight for the first time since May 26-June 3, 2008, which was the last year they made the playoffs. The Cubs also have a 3-2 edge in the season series with the White Sox, as the Crosstown Cup winner will be decided on Sunday.
Arrieta made his 11th straight quality start, and he's 8-1 with a 1.35 ERA (12 earned runs over 80 innings) in those 11 outings. He's the first Cubs pitcher to to notch 11 in a row since Steve Trachsel did so in 1994.
"We know we're on a good run," Arrieta said of the Cubs, who have won 15 of 16.. "We don't necessarily know how many in a row it is, we just know we're winning. We're not going to win them all but when we keep playing the way we are, we'll win a lot."
Jose Quintana also turned in a quality start, yielding three runs on seven hits over six innings. He struck out four and walked one but remained winless against the Cubs with an 0-3 record and 3.76 ERA. Quintana dropped to 5-7 with a 2.60 ERA in 16 career Interleague starts.
"I'm not happy with how I pitched tonight," Quintana said. "Too many pitches with two outs, especially early in the game. But two runs with two outs, 3-2 two times, tried to go away one time, go in the next time. That's all. I missed in a big moment, and it happens."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED The gift of runs: The White Sox scored a run in the second inning without a hit, using a hit batsman, wild pitch, throwing error by Arrieta on a hard-hit grounder back to the mound and Carlos Sanchez's groundout to bring home Avisail Garcia. The White Sox returned the favor in the sixth, when Adam Eaton lost a routine Anthony Rizzo fly ball to center for a double. Jorge Soler followed with a run-scoring single to left. More >
Saladino takes the second: Quintana was perfect through two innings primarily because of Tyler Saladino. The third baseman made a running catch of Rizzo's foul popup down the third-base line to open the second and then deflected a Soler grounder on the line to himself and made a strong throw to first. But Saladino's best effort came on a diving catch to his left of a hard-hit line drive by Chris Denorfia to end the inning. More >
Miscues: Arrieta's throwing error in the second led to a White Sox run, allowing Garcia to advance from second to third before scoring on Sanchez's groundout. The Cubs' mistakes continued in the fourth. Garcia was safe on an infield single, and then stole second. Catcher David Ross' throw was in time but Starlin Castro never tagged the runner. Garcia advanced on Adam LaRoche's groundout, and Alexei Ramirez hit a chopper to Arrieta. He looked Garcia back toward third and then flipped to Kris Bryant to make the tag, but the rookie third baseman dropped the ball for an error. Arrieta struck out the next two batters to escape.
Southern comfort: With two outs in the Cubs fifth, Addison Russell hit his second double and the White Sox chose to intentionally walk Dexter Fowler so Quintana could face Kyle Schwarber. The left-handed-hitting rookie lined a 2-2 fastball to right for an RBI single and a 2-1 lead. Schwarber began the day 7-for-27 against left-handed pitchers, and had struck out and popped up in two previous at-bats.
"[Quintana] was fine with doing it. Execution-wise, it just didn't happen at that point, and they got the hit," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of the intentional walk. "He understood and he was ready to go. The first couple of at-bats, [Schwarber] didn't have some real good swings against him with the curveball and offspeed stuff. And [Quintana] just missed on the fastball." More >
"He's extremely good. He's in an upper tier that I haven't seen very much at this level to be honest with you." -- Eaton, on Arrieta
"This was more paint by numbers." -- Cubs manager Joe Maddon, who has said not all games will be oil paintings
Ventura was ejected by home-plate umpire Joe West during the seventh inning. Ventura was walking back from the mound after Matt Albers replaced Zach Duke when he said something to West. West walked toward Ventura, and then ejected Ventura after he said something again. It was Ventura's 12th career ejection and second this season. Ventura said the problem with West actually started Friday with a balk call he didn't make on a throw over to first from Clayton Richard.
"Any time you feel like your guys are getting short-changed on the calls going back and forth, for me, that's where it started," Ventura said.
With one out and a runner at second in the Cubs seventh, Fowler hit a grounder to third and was called out at first. The Cubs challenged the call, and after a review, it was overturned.
WHAT'S NEXT Cubs:Dan Haren will make his third start for the Cubs on Sunday in the series finale against the White Sox. The right-hander, acquired July 31 from the Marlins for two Minor Leaguers, picked up a win in his last start, striking out six over 5 1/3 innings. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. CT at U.S. Cellular Field.
White Sox:Chris Sale (10-7, 3.47 ERA) makes his 23rd start of the season, 12th at home and second against the Cubs on Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field. Sale is 2-3 with a 6.39 ERA (22 ER/31 IP) over his last five starts, but he is tied for the American League lead and third in baseball with 193 strikeouts.