Game Thirty-Five – Cubs 8, Pirates 2
WP – Jake Arrieta (7-0) LP – Jeff Locke (1-3) Save – None
Anthony Rizzo launched a three-run homer in the fourth that gave the Cubs a 3-2 lead. Addison Russell hit a two-run homer in the sixth, his second dinger in as many games. Dexter Fowler singled in a run in the sixth and the Cubs added two jug runs in the eighth on singles from Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo. Jake Arrieta settled in after a rough fourth inning and struck out a season-high 11 batters over eight innings as the Cubs beat the Pirates on Saturday afternoon.
Anthony Rizzo (2-for-5 with a home run and four RBI) picked up a shaky Jake Arrieta in the fourth inning.
Jason Heyward (3-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored) led off the fourth with an infield single. Kris Bryant (1-for-4 with a walk, a run scored and a RBI) got the call on a 3-2 pitch that rattled Pirates’ starting pitcher Jeff Locke.
Anthony Rizzo made Locke pay for his lack of concentration and hit a three-run bomb into the bleachers in right. Rizzo’s shot turned a two-run deficit into a 3-2 Cubs lead.
Addison Russell (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) gave Arrieta a little breathing room in the sixth inning. Ben Zobrist (2-for-3 with two walks and a run scored) singled to right. Jorge Soler (0-for-3) popped out to right for the first out. Russell obliterated a 1-1 pitch from Locke. Russell hit a booming two-run homer through the wind into the bleachers in left and the Cubs took a 5-2 lead.
Miguel Montero (0-for-3 with a HBP and a run scored) was grazed by a pitch following Russell’s blast. Both benches were warned. Clint Hurdle lost his pitching coach Ray Searage in the fourth inning when he was ejected for arguing balls and strikes and could no longer order one of his pitchers to hit a Cubs’ player in retaliation for Arrieta hitting Jung Ho-Kang in the fourth inning. Hurdle made a pitching change after Locke ‘plunked’ Montero. Jared Hughes walked Jake Arrieta (0-for-2 with a walk).
Dexter Fowler (2-for-5 with a run scored and a RBI) blooped a single to left. Montero scored and the Cubs took a 6-2 lead to the seventh inning.
Fowler started the two-run eighth inning with a one out single to center. Heyward singled to right and put runners on the corners with one out. Bryant singled to left, Fowler scored and made it a 7-2 game. Bryant was tagged out between first and second trying to take an extra base. Rizzo followed with a single to center. Heyward scored and capped the scoring on the afternoon.
The Cubs scored eight runs on 11 hits, five walks and a hit by pitch.
Jake Arrieta worked through a shaky start and completed eight innings on Saturday while recording a season-high 11 strikeouts, just two shy of his career high. Arrieta gave up all three hits in a four-batter span in the two-run fourth inning.
Arrieta held the Pirates in check on Saturday afternoon in seven of the eight innings he completed. And it was a deflected ball that turned into a 4-6-3 inning ending double play that changed the game.
Arrieta retired the Pirates in order in the first inning and worked around a two-out walk to Jung Ho Kang and a passed ball in the second. After pitching a 1-2-3 third inning and needing 39 pitches, 25 for strikes, to record nine outs, Arrieta ran into trouble in the fourth.
Andrew McCutchen put together a 10-pitch at bat to start the fourth. McCutchen doubled to left center for the Pirates first hit. Arrieta had trouble getting back on track after McCutchen’s lengthy plate appearance. Gregory Polanco singled to center. McCutchen was held at third with no outs in a scoreless game.
With Starling Marte at the plate, Polanco swiped second base. Arrieta struck out Marte for the first out.
Francisco Cervelli stepped in and juiced Arrieta’s first pitch into center. McCutchen and Polanco scored and gave the Pirates a 2-0 lead. Arrieta hit Kang and put two on with one out. Josh Harrison grounded Arrieta’s first pitch back up the middle. Arrieta deflected the ball right to Zobrist and he started the 4-6-3 inning ending double play.
The Pirates finally got to Arrieta in the fourth inning. But that would be all for the Battlin’ Bucs on Saturday afternoon. Jake Arrieta did not allow another hit and Justin Grimm pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to end the game.
Jake Arrieta completed eight innings and was charged with two runs on three hits, two walks and a hit batsman. Arrieta struck out 11 on 108 pitches, 69 for strikes.
With Saturday’s win, the Cubs improved to 27-8 on the season.
Jon Lester faces Gerrit Cole in the finale of the series with the Pirates on Sunday afternoon (1:20pm CDT).