Game One Hundred Twenty-Four – Cubs 8, Giants 5
WP – Jake Arrieta (16-6) LP – Matt Cain (2-4) Save – Hector Rondon (24)
Kyle Schwarber launched a three-run homer in the third inning. Miguel Montero smacked a two-run shot in the fourth and Starlin Castro hit a mammoth solo home run in the sixth as the Cubs started the six-game West Coast trip with a win over the Giants.
After not recording a hit through the first two innings, the bats woke up in the third inning. The Cubs scored three runs in the third, three more in the fourth and two in the sixth.
Kyle Schwarber (1-for-4 with a home runs and three RBI) delivered the first of two big blasts off Matt Cain. After failing to drive in Starlin Castro (3-for-4 with a home run, a double and two runs scored) from third, Schwarber stepped in with two on and two down in the third inning. Schwarber smoked a 0-1 pitch into the stands in right center.
Miguel Montero (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) launched the second big fly of the night off Matt Cain in the fourth. Montero hit a two-run homer to the back of the stands in right field and gave the Cubs a 5-0 lead. Tommy La Stella (1-for-3 with a walk, a RBI and a run scored) recorded his first RBI of the season with a single in the fourth that plated Starlin Castro.
The Cubs appeared to put the game out of reach in the sixth.
Starlin Castro had an excellent night at the plate and in the field. Castro hit his first homer since June deep into the stands in left. And Jake Arrieta (1-for-3 with a double and a run scored) scored on an error by Brandon Crawford. The Cubs did not add on after the seventh inning.
Jake Arrieta had a very good outing that was cut short by a long sixth inning. Arrieta retired the first nine batters he faced and did not give up his first hit until one out in the fourth. Arrieta took a one-hit shutout into the sixth inning. Arrieta committed a throwing error that led to the Giants first run. And it was his throwing error and a 12-pitch at bat from Brandon Crawford to end the sixth that cost Arrieta a chance to pitch at least seven innings Tuesday night.
Jake Arrieta was incredibly sharp with devastating stuff. And he got into the act with the bat again. Arrieta doubled in the fifth and scored the Cubs’ eighth run.
Jake Arrieta picked up his Major League best 16th win of the season after allowing one unearned run on four hits with a walk and eight strikeouts. Arrieta made 102 pitches, 63 for strikes, in six-plus innings.
Justin Grimm did his job in relief of Arrieta in the seventh.
Tommy Hunter continued to struggle in the eighth and opened the door for the Giants to have a big inning. Hunter recorded two outs before the Giants loaded the bases. Joe Maddon went to the bullpen for Clayton Richard with the Cubs leading by seven runs. A single from Gregor Blanco and a bases clearing double by Andrew Susac made it a three run game. Maddon was forced to use Pedro Strop, who picked up the last out in the eighth.
Hector Rondon had to be used in a game the Cubs led by seven runs going into the eighth inning. Rondon retired three of the four batters he faced on 18 pitches, 10 for strikes, to close it out.
The Cubs increased the lead over the Giants to 7 ½ games and gained ground on the Pirates in the NL Wild Card race. Joe Maddon’s team is two games behind the Pirates for second in the division and home field advantage in the NL Wild Card Game.
With Tuesday’s win, the Cubs improved to a season-high 22 games over .500 with a 73-51 record.
Starlin Castro led off the third inning of a scoreless game with a single to right, the first hit of the game for either team. Castro advanced all the way to third base while Jake Arrieta was at the plate. A passed ball on the first pitch to Arrieta allowed Castro to move to second. Cain uncorked a wild pitch on a 1-2 offering. With Castro at third, Arrieta struck out swinging. Tommy La Stella walked. Dexter Fowler bounced a 2-2 pitch toward third. Castro broke on contact. Matt Duffy made a strong throw to the plate, Posey applied the tag on Castro for the second out of the inning. It was up to Schwarber with two outs and runners on first and second.
Kyle Schwarber obliterated a 0-1 pitch from Matt Cain. Schwarber gave the Cubs a 3-0 lead with a titanic homer into the stands in right center. Schwarber made AT & T Park look small.
Chris Coghlan followed Schwarber’s smash with a walk. Anthony Rizzo flied out to left to end the inning.
Jake Arrieta set the Giants down in order in the third … nine up, nine down for Arrieta on 40 pitches, 24 for strikes.
The Cubs had a 3-0 lead after three innings.
Kris Bryant started the fourth with a single to left center … and was able to jog around the bases. Miguel Montero unloaded on the first pitch from Matt Cain. The ball sailed to the back of the stands in right and Montero’s two-run bomb gave the Cubs a 5-0 lead.
Starlin Castro followed Montero’s longball with a double to right center. Arrieta struck out looking. Tommy La Stella drove in his first run of the season. La Stella singled to right center, Castro scored and the Cubs took a 6-0 lead. Fowler rolled into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
Jake Arrieta struck out Nori Aoki swinging for the first out in the fourth. Matt Duffy collected the Giants first hit, a single to right. Arrieta walked Brandon Belt and the Giants had two on with one out. Buster Posey flied out to a diving Chris Coghlan in right field. And Brandon Crawford struck out swinging to end the inning … 65 pitches for Arrieta after four innings, 37 for strikes.
Yusmeiro Petit replaced Matt Cain in the sixth inning with the Cubs leading 6-0. Petit struck out Montero swinging for the first out.
Starlin Castro crushed a 3-1 pitch from Petit and pulled it halfway up the stands in left. Castro’s first home run since June 12 gave the Cubs a 7-0 lead.
Jake Arrieta followed Castro’s blast with a double into the left field corner. La Stella grounded out to first. Arrieta advanced to third and scored when Crawford booted a routine grounder off the bat of Dexter Fowler … 8-0 Cubs. Schwarber walked. With runners on first and second and two down, Coghlan grounded out to second to end the inning.
Kelby Tomlinson recorded the Giants second hit of the night, a single to center to start the sixth. Aoki grounded out to second. Tomlinson moved up 90 feet as La Stella got the sure out at first on a ball hit in the hole. Matt Duffy grounded a 1-2 pitch back to the mound. Arrieta fielded the ball cleanly, but threw it into center field. Tomlinson went to third and Duffy reached on a fielder’s choice. With runners on the corners and one down, Brandon Belt pulled a 1-0 pitch toward first. Rizzo had the ball go off his glove, but it bounced right to La Stella. The Cubs got the out at first base as Tomlinson scored, 8-1 Cubs. Posey smoked a single into left as Arrieta’s pitch count escalated. Duffy was held at third with the Giants down by seven runs.
Brandon Crawford put together a 12-pitch at bat when Arrieta struck him out swinging to end the sixth. Arrieta made 99 pitches, 61 for strikes, in six innings.
The Cubs led 8-1 after six complete.
Tommy Hunter started the eighth with the Cubs leading 8-1. Hunter struggled and let the Giants right back in the game.
Matt Duffy singled to left. Brandon Belt grounded a 2-2 pitch toward first. Rizzo fielded the ball and threw to Castro at second to force Duffy. Belt took over at first. Hunter struck out pinch-hitter Justin Maxwell. Juan Perez reached on an infield single to the hole at second. La Stella fielded the ball but Perez beat the throw. Hunter walked Marlon Byrd to load the bases. Maddon went to his pen for lefty Clayton Richard.
Gregor Blanco singled to right. Belt scored, 8-2 Cubs. With the bases loaded and two down, Andrew Susac lined a 2-2 pitch over Fowler’s head in center. Perez, Byrd and Blanco scored and all of the sudden the Cubs lead was down to 8-5. Maddon was forced to bring in Pedro Strop. Tomlinson popped a 1-0 pitch up to Rizzo to finally end the inning.
The Cubs took a shaky 8-5 lead into the ninth inning.
Mike Broadway pitched a 1-2-3 top of the ninth. And Hector Rondon was called on to close it out.
Hector Rondon gave up a two-out bloop single to Brandon Belt before striking out Justin Maxwell to end the game.
Kyle Hendricks faces Jake Peavy in game two with the Giants on Wednesday night (9:15pm CDT).