The Chicago Cubs right-hander was perfect through six innings
Tuesday night. The flawless game didn't last, but Arrieta allowed
just three hits over seven innings in a 7-3 victory over the
Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field.
"I knew that's kind of what was going on from the get-go, most guys
do when you're in a situation like that," Arrieta said of the
perfect-game bid. "But I just wanted to continue to execute pitches
and try and pitch deep in the game.
"That was the only couple of thoughts going through my head."
Arrieta, who opened the season on the disabled list due to right
shoulder tightness and wasn't activated until May 3, gave up two
runs, struck out nine and walked none.
Arrieta, acquired by Chicago (32-43) in a trade with the Baltimore
Orioles on July 2, 2013, faced Cincinnati (38-38) for the first time
in his career.
"He was excellent," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. "He was
commanding his pitches. His pitches had life, his breaking ball was
sharp. Some of the fastballs those guys were taking underneath were
Reds leadoff batter Billy Hamilton broke up Arrieta's bid for
history in the seventh with a leadoff single, and Cincinnati put up
three hits and scored twice in the inning.
Leading 2-0 in the sixth, the Cubs loaded the bases, and Reds
starter Homer Bailey forced in a run when he hit Cubs shortstop
Starlin Castro with a pitch.
Bailey was then pulled for right-handed reliever J.J. Hoover, who
gave up a sacrifice fly to right fielder Nate Schierholtz to score
center fielder Junior Lake for a 4-0 lead.
Bailey (7-4) was responsible for four runs on four hits in 5 1/3
innings. He struck out six and walked two.
Arrieta (4-1) led off the sixth inning with a walk and spent a lot
of time on the basepaths.
"I was pretty gassed there, unfortunately," he said. "Pretty humid
night, long inning in the sixth and running the bases, which really
isn't all that tough in itself. But couple that with being on the
mound and having that layoff adds a little to it."
Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco ended the shutout with two outs in the
seventh, singling home Hamilton from second to trim the Cubs' lead
to 4-1. Right fielder Jay Bruce doubled to deep right-center to
score Mesoraco and make it 4-2.
"You get to the meat of their order later in the game and it's tough
to continue to put those guys away," Arrieta said. "It's a tough
lineup to handle."
Arrieta threw 94 pitches and was pulled for a pinch hitter in the
bottom of the seventh.
Reds right-handed reliever Sam LeCure gave up two eighth-inning hits
and walked Castro to load the bases with one out. Reds first baseman
Joey Votto bobbled a Schierholtz grounder, allowing two runs to
Catcher Welington Castillo's sacrifice fly drove in Castro to make
[to top of second column]
Mesoraco hit a one-out solo home run to left in the ninth off Cubs
right-handed reliever Neil Ramirez to tie a Reds franchise record by
homering for the fifth consecutive game.
Neither team managed a hit until the bottom of the fourth.
First baseman Anthony Rizzo broke the hitless run with a first-pitch
home run to right field -- his 17th of the season and second in
succeeding days -- for a 1-0 Cubs lead.
The Cubs made it 2-0 when Schierholtz led off the fifth with a
single to right and scored on Castillo's double to right. Castillo
tried to stretch the hit into a triple but was tagged by Todd
Frazier after a relay to third.
Reds manager Bryan Price praised both starting pitchers.
"I haven't seen a lot of Arrieta, but he was very, very impressive,"
Price said. "Great start. (Bailey) was matching Arrieta really pitch
for pitch and had really good stuff -- the good velocity, the
fastball command, the good hard slider, the split ... and strikeouts
early in the game.
"But then from the home run on, it wasn't the same easiness to his
The start of the game was delayed 53 minutes by rain as a small
front moved through Chicago.
NOTES: Cincinnati 2B Brandon Phillips missed his third consecutive
game with a bone bruise on his right heel, but manager Bryan Price
felt comfortable enough to get him out for pregame drills. ... Reds
LHP Sean Marshall had season-ending arthroscopic surgery on his left
shoulder Tuesday morning. ... The Reds send RHP Mat Latos (0-0, 3.86
ERA) against Cubs RHP Edwin Jackson (5-7, 5.12 ERA) in Wednesday's
series finale. ... Cubs manager Rick Renteria still hasn't revealed
who will start in Saturday's scheduled day-night doubleheader
against the Washington Nationals. ... INF/OF Emilio Bonifacio,
sidelined due to an oblique strain, was spotted working out at
Wrigley Field. "He continues to work on strengthening and get worked
on daily," Renteria said.
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.