CHICAGO — Rookie Ian Happ hit his 18th home run, Jose Quintana pitched six effective innings and the Chicago Cubs beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 Saturday to keep up their success against AL opponents.
The World Series champions have won nine of their last 10 interleague games. The NL Central leaders have won five of seven overall.
Happ hit an RBI single in the first inning and added a solo homer in the fourth. In the sixth, Happ drew a leadoff walk from Danny Barnes (2-4) and later scored on a two-out single by Javier Baez for the go-ahead run.
In his seventh start since being acquired in a trade from the White Sox, Quintana (4-2) gave up two runs and four hits. He struck out eight and walked two.
Cubs closer Wade Davis pitched a perfect ninth for his 26th save in as many chances. He tied the franchise record for consecutive saves converted.
Anthony Rizzo added an insurance run in the seventh with a two-out RBI single.
The Blue Jays cut the lead in the eighth with the help of Kris Bryant’s throwing error. Bryant fielded Steve Pearce’s grounder at third, but threw wildly to first allowing Pearce to advance to second. Kevin Pillar followed with an RBI single to cut the Chicago lead to 4-3.
In the fourth, Toronto got three straight hits off Quintana. Pillar led off with a single and former Cub Darwin Barney doubled down the left-field line. Raffy Lopez followed with a two-run bloop single to left-centre to put the Blue Jays ahead 2-1.
Happ tied it with his opposite-field homer to left off Nick Tepesch.
Quintana got out of a bases loaded jam in the second inning when he struck out Tepesch.
Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez (finger) played catch for the first time in a while. He has pitched just 36 innings this season due to blister issues. Manager John Gibbons said he hopes to use the starting pitcher out of the bullpen when he returns… C Russell Martin (oblique) is rehabbing in Florida. Gibbons said Martin will not be ready when he is eligible to come off the 10-day DL early next week.
The interleague series caps off on Sunday with Toronto RHP Marco Estrada (5-8) facing Cubs RHP Kyle Hendricks (4-4). Estrada is 2-5 with 5.33 ERA in 14 starts on the road this season. Hendricks is 3-3 with a 2.85 ERA in his last 13 starts.
Toronto selected the contract of left-hander TJ House before the game and optioned lefty Tim Mayza to Buffalo. The team announced after the game that catcher Mike Ohlman had cleared waivers and was outrighted to triple-A Buffalo.