The right-hander allowed just three hits in seven innings for his
first victory in five starts and 10th straight quality effort as the
Chicago Cubs beat the Colorado Rockies 3-1 in Thursday's finale of a
four-game series at Wrigley Field.
"Going in, I felt a little off," Arrieta said. "I really didn't feel
I had a lot of life on my fastball today, but I was able to come out
with a good mix of off-speed pitches for strikes below the zone for
swings, mixing some changeups, and the cutter was pretty good
The victory was the third in four games as the Cubs (45-62) made the
most of six hits and won their first series since early June.
Arrieta (6-2) broke out of a four-game slump that included a loss
and three no-decisions.
Reliever Hector Rondon allowed two ninth-inning baserunners but
worked out of the one-out jam and picked up his 14th save as he
struck out catcher Wilin Rosario and shortstop Charlie Culberson to
end the game.
The Rockies (44-64) were defeated for the fourth time in five games
as left-hander Pedro Hernandez, called up Thursday from Triple-A
Colorado Springs, worked 5 2/3 innings and suffered the loss.
Chicago also executed a trade before the deadline, sending infielder
Emilio Bonifacio and left-handed reliever James Russell to the
Atlanta Braves for a minor league catcher.
"Obviously, those guys have been good pieces for us," Cubs manager
Rick Renteria said. "They're going to go into a race and I think
they'll thrive in it."
The Cubs scored three times with none out in the sixth inning as
Hernandez loaded the bases.
The first run came as Hernandez walked shortstop Starlin Castro to
force home second baseman Arismendy Alcantara.
Right fielder Justin Ruggiano made it 2-0 with a long sacrifice to
center to drive in left fielder Chris Coughlan. Third baseman Luis
Valbuena grounded into a fielder's choice that sent first baseman
Anthony Rizzo home for a 3-0 lead.
Hernandez departed in favor of right-hander Matt Belisle, who got
catcher Welington Castillo to ground out to end the inning.
Hernandez (0-1) gave up three earned runs and six hits, struck out
two and walked two.
"He did a nice job, got us in the the sixth and got us in position
to win the game and that's all we ask for," Rockies manager Walt
Weiss said. "The bullpen came in and did a nice job. We just
couldn't get the big hit to put together a big inning."
Arrieta gave up one run in the seventh inning when third baseman
Nolan Arenado doubled home left fielder Corey Dickerson. Arrieta was
pulled for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the seventh and was
replaced by left-hander Brian Schlitter.
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Arrieta gave up just one earned run, walked two and struck out seven while
throwing 96 pitches in seven innings.
"Arrieta was really really good," Weiss said. "Toward the end of his rope
there we had an opportunity, but (the Rockies) could never get to him."
Rockies left-hander Tyler Matzek was originally set to pitch for
Colorado, but after working in the 16th inning of Tuesday's 4-3 marathon
loss to the Cubs, Weiss opted for Hernandez.
Weiss said Matzek be inserted back in the rotation at a future date.
The Cubs, who last won a series by taking two of three from Miami on
June 6-8, open a six-game road swing Friday with the first of three
games against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.
The Rockies begin an three-game interleague series at Detroit on Friday
before returning home to host the Cubs for three games beginning next
NOTES: The Rockies purchased the contract of LHP Pedro Hernandez on
Thursday and promptly inserted him in the lineup for his first major
league start since Sept. 27, 2013. They also optioned RHP Rob Scahill to
Triple-A Colorado Springs after two appearances and a victory and
designated INF Ryan Wheeler for assignment after he hit .232 in 31
games. ... LHP Franklin Morales (5-5, 5.18 ERA) makes his 16th start of
the season and 25th overall appearance on Friday in Detroit. ... RHP
Kyle Hendricks (1-1, 2.33 ERA) makes his fourth career big league start
on Friday as the Cubs open a three-game weekend series in Los Angeles
against the Dodgers. ... RHP Neil Ramirez was expected to work at the
Cubs' Class A Daytona club as he recovers from triceps soreness. He went
on the 15-day disabled list Sunday. ... Cubs 3B Luis Valbuena has hit
safely in eight of his last 11 games and has homered in three of his
last eight. His .335 on-base percentage is 83 points higher than his
.252 batting average. ... SS Starlin Castro had gone a career-high 37
games without an error dating to June 18. It's the longest streak by a
Cubs shortstop since Ryan Theriot had a 46-game run in 2007.
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