PHILADELPHIA — Jose Quintana continued his August dominance with a career-high 14 strikeouts Tuesday night.
But, as the Cubs have learned this season, rebound seasons haven’t added up to more victories.
J.T. Realmuto hit a home run off Quintana in the fifth inning, and he followed with a tiebreaking double off David Phelps in the seventh as the Phillies pulled away to a 4-2 win.
The Cubs fell to 23-36 on the road and haven’t won consecutive road games since July 4 at Pittsburgh and July 6 at Guaranteed Rate Field against the White Sox. They also fell to 11-15 in games against left-handed starters as they collected only five hits against Jason Vargas and three relievers. They went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
Quintana hasn’t lost a start since he was tagged for nine runs (eight earned) in 4 1/3 innings of a 10-2 loss to the Mets at Wrigley Field on June 22.
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Since then, Quintana is 6-0 with a 3.40 ERA in his last eight starts. In his three August starts, Quintana has a 1.89 ERA with 26 strikeouts and no walks.
His 14 strikeouts surpassed his previous high of 13 against the Twins on Sept. 13, 2014, while pitching for the White Sox. Quintana joined teammate Jon Lester as the only left-handers in franchise history to strike out at least 14 batters in a start. Lester struck out 14 against the Rockies on July 29, 2015.
But two factors limited Quintana’s start to six innings. First, an 11-pitch at-bat to Bryce Harper that ended in a called third strike was the start of a 28-pitch first inning.
Second, second baseman Ian Happ dropped a routine popup by Realmuto with one out in the third to start a rally that led to a sacrifice fly by Scott Kingery and gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead.
Nicholas Castellanos extended his hot streak by hitting a tying home run off Vargas to start the sixth.
Castellanos, who led off the fourth with an infield hit and scored on a sacrifice fly by Javier Baez, is batting .583 against left-handers and has hit five home runs in 12 games since joining the Cubs in a trade with the Tigers on July 31.
Kris Bryant followed with a double, but Anthony Rizzo and Baez failed to advance Bryant, and Albert Almora Jr. fouled out to Realmuto with runners at first and third to end the threat.
Pinch hitter Andrew Knapp started the Phillies’ winning rally with a single to left off Kyle Ryan.
In the eighth, Kingery hit a double off Duane Underwood Jr. and scored on a triple with two outs by Roman Quinn.
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