Cubs notes: Reds rock Cubs starter Jose Quintana for 6 runs on 12 hits

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Jose Quintana set a career high with 12 hits allowed in Sunday’s loss to the Reds.

“That’s really tough,” Quintana said. “Too many base hits.”

Much of the damage came on soft hits that dropped just beyond the infield. The left-hander left after 5 1/3 innings and allowed six runs (five earned). It marked his most runs allowed since April 5 against the Brewers.

“They didn’t just beat him up,” Joe Maddon said. “It was one of those things that balls were falling in and it just seemed like he couldn’t make a pitch when he needed to.”

Quintana dropped to 4-4 with a 3.73 ERA. His next outing likely will come on the road against the Cardinals.

“Just keep pitching,” Quintana said. “Keep my focus.”

A new Yu

Yu Darvish isn’t exactly contending for a Cy Young Award with a 2-3 record and 5.40 ERA through 11 starts.

But Maddon is hopeful that the 32-year-old will turn a corner after logging his longest outing with the Cubs. Darvish pitched seven innings for the first time since Sept. 25, 2017, in Saturday’s 8-6 win.

The resulting line score was not pretty as Darvish allowed six runs on 12 hits and two walks while striking out five. But he saved a tired bullpen and threw 82 strikes, the most by a Cubs pitcher this season.

“Give Yu credit,” Maddon said. “Because if he doesn’t do that, we don’t win that game. …

“Furthermore, that is a perfect example of stretching one’s mind. I think that as he moves forward, after that game, he knows he can do it. He’s done it in the past, I know, but it’s been awhile. So now it’s been reaffirmed that I can do that. I think that can be a positive moment for him moving down the road.”

Can’t sit still

The Cubs will use a designated hitter for the next three games on the road against the Astros.

Maddon said he likely will give Willson Contreras one start at DH, but not multiple starts, even though such an approach could save Contreras’ legs behind the plate for a few days while utilizing his bat.

“As a catcher, you want to be involved,” Maddon said. “It’s not as easy to do as you think, to sit around and go hit.”

The team already has played five games in American League parks this season. Kyle Schwarber and Kris Bryant served as DH in two games apiece, while Ben Zobrist did once.

Hoop dreams

Cubs players wore basketball jerseys on the team flight to Houston.

Albert Almora Jr. wore a Dwyane Wade Miami Heat jersey, while Jason Heyward sported Michael Jordan’s No. 45 Bulls version. Darvish chose Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks, Jose Quintana picked Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors and Jon Lester wore an old Orlando Magic jersey with Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway’s No. 1.

Maddon selected a Pete Maravich jersey from the 1970s Atlanta Hawks.

“If you’ve ever watched any old videos of him ball handling, it’s purely incredible stuff,” Maddon said.

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