Kyle Schwarber launched a grand slam to cap a five-run sixth inning that sent Chicago to a 10-5 victory over Milwaukee on Thursday night in the opener of a crucial four-game series.
The third-place Brewers dropped 7½ games behind first-place St. Louis in the NL Central and five back of the Cubs for the second wild card. Chicago remained 2½ behind the Cardinals, who routed San Francisco 10-0.
Jose Quintana (13-8) allowed four runs on five hits, including two homers, in five innings to improve to 9-1 in his last 12 starts.
Willson Contreras finished a triple short of the cycle, driving in two runs on four hits. On his second double, he rounded second in the eighth inning before heading back to the bag instead of trying for a triple.
Ben Zobrist reached five times with three singles and two walks, scoring three times.
Davod Bote, recalled from the minors earlier in the day, made it 10-5 in the ninth with his 11th homer.
Cole Hamels (7-5, 3.69 ERA) makes his fifth start this season against Milwaukee. In his last start, also vs. the Brewers, he took the loss despite giving up just two runs in six innings. Hamels is 1-3 with a 6.43 ERA in his last seven starts.
Zach Davies (8-7, 3.76) is 0-5 with a 7.76 ERA over his last six starts. In his most recent start Saturday against the Cubs, he did not allow a run in 4 2/3 innings but did not get a decision.