CHICAGO (AP) — Brandon Crawford is working on a strong finish to a terrific May.
In the field, and at the plate.
Crawford hit a two-run homer, Brandon Belt drove in two runs and the San Francisco Giants beat the Chicago Cubs 5-4 on Saturday night to stop a three-game slide.
Crawford went 2 for 3 to improve his May batting average to .446 (37 for 83). The slick-fielding shortstop, who made a strong jumping throw to retire Willson Contreras in the fourth inning, has four homers and 20 RBIs in 23 games this month.
“That’s what I’m here for is to play defense,” Crawford said. “Fortunately, I’ve made adjustments at the plate to be a threat at the plate, too.”
Crawford’s opposite-field drive off Jose Quintana on a high 3-2 pitch landed in Wrigley’s Field’s left-field basket for his sixth homer, tying it at 2.
“Only few parks in baseball I would have thought that had a chance,” Crawford said. “Fortunately this is one of them.”
Andrew McCutchen had two hits and drove in a run as San Francisco won for the first time on an eight-game trip. Chris Stratton (6-3) shook off a shaky start and lasted five innings for his third straight win.
Chicago lost for the third time in four games. Javier Baez hit his team-leading 12th homer, and Kyle Schwarber homered, doubled and scored two runs.
The Cubs blew leads of 2-0 and 3-2. Quintana (5-4) struck out six through three scoreless innings, and then faded and was charged with four runs and five hits in just 4 1/3 innings.
“Lights out,” manager Joe Maddon said of Quintana’s start. “Then after that it just shifted and he wasn’t nearly as sharp or aggressive in the strike zone.”
Stratton issued each of his three walks in the second, including four straight balls to Jason Heyward that forced in the game’s first run. But Stratton wriggled out of the jam, getting Quintana to bounce into an inning-ending double play.
The right-hander allowed three runs and four hits with six strikeouts.
Schwarber hit his ninth homer in the third, but Crawford responded with his drive in the fourth.
After Baez connected in the bottom half, San Francisco went ahead to stay with two in the fifth. McCutchen hit a tying RBI double and scored on Belt’s two-out single.
Belt made it 5-3 with a sacrifice fly in the seventh, driving in Gorkys Hernandez.
The Cubs got one back on Anthony Rizzo’s RBI single in the eighth, but the rally fizzled from there. Hunter Strickland pitched a perfect ninth for his 10th save in 12 chances.
The Cubs placed right-hander Yu Darvish on the 10-day disabled list with right triceps tendinitis, part of a flurry of pregame moves.
“We’re not overly concerned,” manager Joe Maddon said “We just going precautionary measure right now to make sure everything is good.
“We’ll probably get a test, an MRI and then we’ll know more for sure.”
Catcher Victor Caratini was optioned to Triple-A Iowa. Veteran catcher Chris Gimenez and left-handed reliever Randy Rosario were brought up from the minors, and infielder Efren Navarro was designated for assignment.
Darvish is 1-3 with a 4.95 ERA in his first season after finalizing a $126 million, six-year deal with the Cubs in February. He was slated to start the series finale against the Giants on Sunday night, but Tyler Chatwood will move up a day to take his place.
Giants: C Buster Posey (right hip soreness) was held out. He is day to day. “He’s had some history of this and then it clears up,” manager Bruce Bochy said. … LHP Madison Bumgarner (fractured pinkie) was impressive in his first rehab start for Triple-A Sacramento, striking out eight while pitching 3 2/3 hitless innings. Bumgarner likely will make two more starts in the minors, Bochy said. … 2B Joe Panik (sprained left thumb) will begin a rehab assignment with Sacramento on Monday. … 2B Alen Hanson (strained left hamstring) ran the bases and is scheduled to play an extended spring training game Monday before beginning a rehab assignment with Single-A San Jose on Wednesday.
Cubs: Contreras was hit on the left wrist by Stratton in the second inning and was attended to by trainers, but remained in the game.
Giants LHP Ty Blach (3-4, 4.37 ERA) faces Chatwood (3-4, 3.74 ERA) on Sunday night. Chatwood has lost two straight and leads the majors with 40 walks.