Game One – Cubs 9, Angels 0
WP – Jake Arrieta (1-0) LP – Garrett Richards (0-1) Save – None
Jake Arrieta faced two over the minimum in seven innings. Anthony Rizzo drove in the first run of the season. Miguel Montero launched a two-run homer, drove in three runs. Dexter Fowler scored three times and Matt Szczur hit a bases clearing double in the ninth as the Cubs shutout the Angels on Opening Night in Anaheim.
Jake Arrieta was just spectacular Monday. Arrieta allowed only one hit over the first six inning and ended up surrendering two over seven innings. Arrieta kept Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and the Angels in check. Arrieta faced two over the minimum, struck out six, walked one and made 89 pitches, 64 for strikes.
The Cubs offense was relentless Monday night. Six of the nine runs scored on two out hits from Anthony Rizzo, Miguel Montero and Matt Szczur. The Cubs walked seven times. Garrett Richards made 41 of his 97 pitches in the fourth inning and took its toll on the right hander. Richards five-inning start forced Mike Scioscia to use five pitchers that threw a combined 188 pitches. Jake Arrieta, Justin Grimm and Travis Wood made 109 pitches.
Anthony Rizzo (1-for-3 with two walks, a RBI and a run scored) plated Dexter Fowler (3-for-4 with a double, a walk and three runs scored) with the first run of the season on a two-out knock in the first inning. Fowler was on base four times and scored three runs. Miguel Montero drove (2-for-5 with a home run and three RBI) in three of the nine runs and his two-run shot to right in the sixth gave the Cubs a 5-0 lead.
Jorge Soler (1-for-4 with a walk, a RBI and a run scored) had a big night. Soler drove in the second run and he worked a two-out walk ahead of Montero’s two-run blast.
Kris Bryant (0-for-3 with two walks, a RBI and two runs scored) drove in a run, walked twice and scored two times. Jason Heyward (1-for-5 with a double) doubled in five plate appearances. Ben Zobrist (2-for-5 with a run scored) had a rough night in the field, on the bases and at the plate but still managed two hits.
The Cubs won the first of 162 games on Monday night.
The Cubs jumped out to an early lead with a run in the first inning. Dexter Fowler led off the game with a double down the right field line. Jason Heyward bounced to Simmons behind the second base bag. Fowler advanced to third with one out. Ben Zobrist struck out swinging.
Anthony Rizzo plated the Cubs first run of the season with a two-out single to center. Fowler scored, 1-0 Cubs. Kris Bryant struck out swinging to end the inning.
The Cubs added on to the lead in the fourth inning with one long at-bat after the other against Garrett Richards. The Cubs forced Richards to throw 41 pitches to record three outs.
Rizzo and Bryant led off the fourth with back-to-back walks. Kyle Schwarber grounded a 3-2 pitch toward first. C.J. Cron fielded the ball, but bobbled it slightly and could not make a throw to second base. Cron took the sure out and Jorge Soler stepped in with runners on second and third with one out.
Soler delivered a single to left. Rizzo scored, 2-0 Cubs. Bryant was held at third with one out. The Angels over-shifted for Montero and he made them pay. Montero grounded a 3-2 pitch toward the hole at short. What would have been a routine play for Simmons, turned into an infield single and a RBI. Bryant scored, 3-0 Cubs. As Richards continued to labor, Russell struck out swinging (3-2 pitch) for the second out. And Fowler was caught looking to end the inning.
The Cubs added two more runs in the sixth … and the two runs were a direct result of a two-out walk.
Jorge Soler put together another strong at bat. Soler worked a 3-2 count, took ball four and was on first base when Miguel Montero hit the Cubs first home run of the season. Montero cranked a two-run homer to right.
The Angels defense kept the Cubs from putting a crooked number on the board in the seventh. Fowler led off with a single to right. Jason Heyward blooped a double down the left field line. Zobrist struck out swinging with runners on second and third. The Angels intentionally walked Rizzo to load the bases.
Kris Bryant pulled a 2-2 pitch to the hole at short. Simmons made a sensational stop and pivot to force Rizzo at second. Fowler scored, 6-0 Cubs. Johnny Giavotella made a diving stop and took away a hit from Kyle Schwarber to end the inning.
The Cubs added three more runs in the ninth. And it all started with Fowler again.
Fowler led off the ninth with a walk and went to third on a single from Zobrist. Rizzo popped out to Simmons in shallow center. Bryant walked and loaded the bases with two outs.
Matt Szczur replaced Schwarber in left field in the seventh. Szczur delivered a big hit in the ninth. Szczur doubled to left. The ball one-hopped the wall. Fowler, Zobrist and Bryant scored, 9-0 Cubs.
The Cubs scored nine runs on 11 hits, four for extra bases, with seven walks and struck out 12 times.
Jon Lester takes on Andrew Heaney in game two on Tuesday night (9:05pm CDT) at The Big A.