BALTIMORE -- Jose Quintana is well aware of the lofty expectations that came with his trade to the Chicago Cubs.
He certainly dazzled his new teammates in his debut.
Quintana struck out a season-high 12 in 7 sharp innings and the Cubs defeated the Baltimore Orioles 8-0 Sunday for a three-game sweep.
"It was my first outing with the Cubs, but after the first inning, I felt really good," Quintana said. "I threw everything in the first inning and just focused on making quick outs."
Acquired by the defending World Series champions during the all-star break from the Chicago White Sox for a playoff push, Quintana gave the Cubs exactly the kind of boost they hoped to get.
"It could really be a big boon to us, there's no question," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "Everybody else saw it."
"Today was his day," catcher Willson Contreras said. "He impressed everyone."
The shutout effort earned him his first postgame dousing by teammates in their victory party.
"I'm freezing. But I'm happy," said the lefty with the easy delivery and easy smile. "It's really special."
Quintana allowed 3 hits, walked none and joined Matt Garza as the only pitchers in team history to fan 12 in their Cubs debut.
When he struck out Adam Jones for No. 10 in the sixth, Quintana reached 900 strikeouts for his career. And this: He became only the second pitcher since 1900 to record 10 strikeouts in back-to-back games for different teams (also Randy Johnson in 1998 with the Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros).
Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo homered to help the Cubs move over .500 for the first time since June 29. The Cubs hit 10 home runs during the sweep at Camden Yards.
"It obviously just gives us that extra confidence," Bryant said of adding the 2016 all-star to the rotation after a disappointing first half. "We have a lot of the same core that we had last year when we won the whole thing, and to add him for the next three more years, too, is great.
"We all feel really great about that, obviously seeing what he did today."
The Cubs took advantage of another wild start by Ubaldo Jimenez (4-5) and opened a 4-0 lead in the second. Contreras added a career-high 4 hits.
The Cubs traded their top two prospects, outfielder Eloy Jimenez and right-hander Dylan Cease, along with infielders Matt Rose and Bryant Flete, to get Quintana. He was 4-8 with a 4.49 ERA for the White Sox.
The left-hander had gotten that much run support while in the game only three times in 18 starts for the White Sox this year.
"That's in the past for me now," he said, downplaying the meager history of run support with the Sox. "I'm just focused here, to keep doing my job, and that's it."
The Cubs picked up a game on the first-place Milwaukee Brewers, who lost 5-2 at home to the Philadelphia Phillies, and are now 4½ games back of first place in the NL Central.
"We're playing a world champion team that everyone knew was going to get going at some point," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Unfortunately, they started here. They're on the top of their game. They have a lot of good pieces. We were not up to the challenge."
Quintana retired nine straight batters until Jones led off the fourth with a double. This was the 10th time in his career, and third this season, he fanned at least 10.
"All the other starters saw it," Maddon said. "They saw that we grabbed a lead and there was no messing around. There was no walks. There was no bad counts."
Ian Happ had a 2-run double and scored on Jason Heyward's single in the second. Heyward stole second and scored the fourth run on a two-out single by Ben Zobrist.
A 2-run homer by Bryant, his 19th, boosted the margin to 6-0 in the fourth.
Jimenez allowed 6 runs and 11 hits, 1 shy of tying a career high, over 3⅔ innings. He has not pitched past the fifth inning in 4 of his last 5 starts.
Rizzo hit his 22nd home run in the ninth off Darren O'Day.
"I really believe if we play with that kind of internal fire," Maddon said, "that kind of energy, we'll win a lot of games in the second half."
It was the Cubs' second consecutive sweep of the Orioles; they took three from Baltimore in 2014. The Cubs also improved to 9-3 all time against Baltimore.
• Cubs left-hander Brett Anderson (back) allowed 5 runs (3 earned) and 8 hits with 4 strikeouts and a walk over 4⅓ innings Saturday for Double-A Tennessee. Anderson is 1-2 with 5.06 ERA in 5 rehab appearances.
• Fellow left-hander Jon Lester (5-6, 4.25 ERA) is slated to start Monday night against Atlanta right-hander Julio Teheran (7-6, 4.79). Lester is looking to bounce back from his last outing when he allowed 10 runs (4 earned) in two-thirds of an inning -- the shortest start of his 12-year career.
• Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times contributed to this report.