Game One Hundred Five – Cubs 5, Pirates 0
WP – Jake Arrieta (12-6) LP – J.A. Happ (4-7) Save – None
Jake Arrieta shut down the Pirates for seven innings. Starlin Castro and Jorge Soler each drove in a pair of runs. And three of the five runs scored on two-out hits as the Cubs beat the Pirates on Tuesday night at PNC Park.
Jorge Soler (1-for-3 with two walks and two RBI) and Starlin Castro (2-for-5 with two doubles, two RBI and a run scored) stepped up Tuesday night and combined to drive in four of the Cubs five runs. Soler worked a bases loaded walk in the first inning that forced in Chris Denorfia (3-for-6 with a double and a run scored). The first of two doubles on the night by Starlin Castro in the third drove in Anthony Rizzo (4-for-5 with two doubles and two runs scored) with the second run. And David Ross (1-for-4 with a walk and a RBI) plated Castro with a two-out single to center.
Starlin Castro delivered again in the fifth. His second double also scored Rizzo. Castro hit one double to right center and the other to left. Jorge Soler singled in Kris Bryant (1-for-4 with a HBP and a run scored) with two outs in the sixth
The Cubs scored five runs on 14 hits, five walks and a HBP. As Joe Maddon said after the game, it would have been a complete effort for the team if not for the runners left in scoring position. The Cubs were 5-for-16 with RISP and left 15 men on base.
Jake Arrieta was very sharp Tuesday night, set the tone early and dominated the Pirates for seven innings. Arrieta did not give up a hit until one out in the fourth. Arrieta had good command and while his strikeout total was a little low, he completed seven innings on a night Joe Maddon needed a long outing from his starter.
Arrieta did not give up his second hit until the seventh inning. After the Pirates put two on base in the seventh for the first time in the game, Arrieta retired Aramis Ramirez, Jung Ho Kang and Neil Walker in order to end his outing.
Jake Arrieta surrendered just two hits in seven innings. Arrieta issued three free passes and struck out five batters. Arrieta made 109 pitches, 63 for strikes.
Tommy Hunter made his second appearance with the Cubs and faced the minimum in the eighth.
Justin Grimm allowed a one-out double to Starling Marte in the ninth. Addison Russell made a sensational leaping catch to take a hit away from Aramis Ramirez, preserve the shutout and end the game.
Jake Arrieta, Tommy Hunter and Justin Grimm combined on a four-hit shutout … Cubs’ pitching faced four over the minimum.
Starlin Castro and Addison Russell were tremendous in the field Tuesday night. The Cubs’ middle infielders made several excellent plays and were in the middle all three inning-ending double plays.
With Tuesday’s win, the Cubs improved to 58-47 on the season and picked up a game in the standings.
Dexter Fowler was caught looking at a 2-2 pitch that appeared to be low in the zone for the first out. Chris Denorfia worked a full count before ripping a single into center. Kris Bryant hit a bouncer down the third baseline. Aramis Ramirez fielded the ball but his throw to first was low and offline. Bryant reached on E5 and the Cubs had runners on first and second with one down.
Anthony Rizzo smoked a 1-1 pitch to right. Rizzo hit the ball too hard for Denorfia to score. The bases were loaded with one out for Soler.
Jorge Soler worked a walk (3-1 pitch) and forced in Denorfia, 1-0 Cubs.
Starlin Castro rolled one to Ramirez at third. Aramis Ramirez threw home and forced Bryant for the second out. David Ross grounded a 2-0 pitch to Kang at shortstop to end the inning.
The Cubs let J.A. Happ off the hook. Happ threw 30 pitches, 17 for strikes, in the first inning.
Jake Arrieta issued a two-out walk to Andrew McCutchen, but that was all in the first inning for the Pirates. Arrieta made 18 pitches, nine for strikes, in the first inning.
The Cubs had a 1-0 lead after one inning.
Kris Bryant went down swinging to start the third inning. Anthony Rizzo scorched a 1-1 pitch over McCutchen’s head. The ball hit the wall and Rizzo ended up at second with a double. Rizzo went to third on a wild pitch on the first offering to Soler. Clint Hurdle pulled his infield in with Rizzo at third. Jorge Soler could not make contact, and struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch.
Starlin Castro came through with a clutch hit. Castro doubled to right center (3-1 count), Rizzo scored and the Cubs took a 2-0 lead. David Ross smoked 1-0 pitch back up the middle and into center. Castro hustled all the way to the plate and made it a 3-0 game. Arrieta flied out to deep center to end the inning. Happ needed 76 pitches, 47 for strikes, to complete three innings.
Jake Arrieta tossed a 1-2-3 third inning … 46 pitches for Arrieta after three, 27 for strikes.
The Cubs had a 3-0 lead after three innings.
Kris Bryant was called out on strikes to start the fifth inning. Anthony Rizzo ripped a 1-0 pitch into right for a double. Jorge Soler walked and Clint Hurdle decided that should be all for J.A. Happ. Hurdle called for Jared Hughes.
Starlin Castro pulled Hughes’ first pitch to left. The ball ended up in the corner, Rizzo scored … 4-0 Cubs. Soler stopped at third with one out. David Ross was intentionally walked and loaded the bases for Jake Arrieta.
Arrieta tried to bunt Soler in. But he bunted the ball too hard. Hughes pounced on the ball and shoveled it from his glove to Cervelli to force Soler at the plate. Russell struck out swinging to end the inning.
Jake Arrieta walked Neil Walker with one out in the fifth. But Pedro Alvarez grounded into a 1-4-3 double play to end the inning. Arrieta needed 74 pitches, 41 for strikes, to complete five innings.
After five, the Cubs had a 4-0 lead.
Jared Hughes stayed in for the sixth and retired Fowler on a grounder to second of the first out. Chris Denorfia reached on an infield single and Bryant was hit by a pitch.
Anthony Rizzo blooped Hughes’ first pitch into left. The ball fell in but Denorfia was caught in no man’s land and Marte threw a strike to Ramirez at third base for the put out.
Jorge Soler smoked a 2-2 pitch into left. Bryant scored and made it a 5-0 game. With runners on first and second with two outs, Hurdle went to his pen for Arquimedes Caminero. Starlin Castro grounded out to third to end the inning.
Jake Arrieta set down the Pirates in order in the sixth … 88 pitches, 50 for strikes, for Arrieta.
The Cubs led 5-0 after six innings.
The Cubs continued putting men on base in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings but could not add to the lead. Jake Arrieta pitched a scoreless seventh and Tommy Hunter faced the minimum in the eighth.
Justin Grimm made his way in for the ninth with the Cubs leading 5-0. Starling Marte doubled with one out. After Andrew McCutchen grounded out to short, Aramis Ramirez lined out to a leaping Addison Russell to end the game.
The Cubs and Pirates wrap up the two-game series Wednesday night (6:05pm CDT). Dan Haren will make his Cubs debut against lefty Jeff Locke.