Pirates rough up Arrieta in win vs. Cubs
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[July 09, 2016]
PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh
Pirates allowed a three-run lead to slip away against Chicago Cubs
right-hander Jake Arrieta. That would have signaled a Cubs victory a
few weeks ago.
Quite a bit has changed in those weeks, though. The Pirates chased
Arrieta in the seventh inning, scored four runs and took a three-run
lead they would extend to four and carry to an 8-4 win against the
Cubs at PNC Park on Friday.
"We battled. I thought we battled very well," Pirates manager Clint
Hurdle said. "We just kept playing. We stayed in the hunt."
Chicago trailed 3-0 following a troubling second inning for Arrieta,
which started with a lead-off home run from third baseman David
Freese, but came back to take a 4-3 lead with three runs coming off
home runs by Anthony Rizzo and Miguel Montero in the sixth and
seventh innings, respectively.
That lead didn't last.
Arrieta, who faced Pirates left-hander Francisco Liriano, left the
game after allowing three straight hits to start the seventh inning,
punctuated by a John Jaso single that scored Adam Frazier from third
base to tie the game 4-4.
The Pirates took a 5-4 lead when Rizzo tossed Gregory Polanco's
dribbler behind left-handed pitcher Travis Wood, allowing Josh Bell
to score in his MLB debut. Andrew McCutchen then added a sixth run
with his third hit of the game, a single to center field.
"The thing about (Arrieta) is he gives you opportunities," McCutchen
said. "We've had plenty of opportunities. There have been maybe a
handful of times when he's faced him and he's been lights-out. But a
lot of times in a lot of games where we face him, we've had a lot of
opportunities. Today was just, we were able to come through in those
opportunities that we got more times than not."
Starling Marte grounded out to second base, but the Cubs weren't
able to turn a double play, a following Eric Fryer to score and push
the Pirates' lead to three runs.
Matt Joyce scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the eighth inning
to put Pittsburgh ahead 8-4.
The Pirates (45-42) have won eight of their past nine games to pull
within 7.5 games of the National League Central-leading Cubs
(52-34), who have lost four straight.
After going down in order in the first inning, the Pirates scored
three runs on two homers in the second.
Freese led off the inning with his 10th home run of the season on a
1-0 pitch, going to the opposite field just over the right-field
wall and inside the foul pole. The home run was Pittsburgh's first
off Arrieta since Sept. 13, 2013, when Garrett Jones hit
Pittsburgh's last of three home runs in four pitches.
Marte followed Freese's home run with a single to left field through
shortstop Addison Russell. Marte stole second base before advancing
to third on Josh Harrison's flyout to center field.
Shortstop Sean Rodriguez took Arrieta deep to left field for his
eighth home run of the season. Arrieta cleaned up the inning with
back-to-back strikeouts of catcher Erik Kratz and Liriano but
Cubs manager Joe Maddon attempted to explain Arrieta's recent
[to top of second column]
Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta (49) delivers a pitch against the
Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory
Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
"The best way to describe is it's just command," Maddon said. "Last
year, we just saw him keep nailing his pitches all the time and it's
hard to do what he did so consistently, especially throwing as many
breaking ball strikes as he did."
Friday marked the first time that Arrieta surrendered at least one
home run in three consecutive starts since July 2011, when he
allowed a home run in five straight starts with the Baltimore
The three earned runs allowed in the second equaled the combined
total of the earned runs Arrieta allowed in his previous six starts
Arrieta, who allowed six earned runs Friday, has surrendered at
least four earned runs in each of his past three starts and has lost
in three of his past four starts after starting the season 11-1. He
had not allowed more than two runs in any of his previous three
starts against the Pirates this season.
"I felt good tonight. I had a good feel for some things," Arrieta
said. "I had a good direction to the plate. ... There's some
positives there but giving six runs, especially the ones in the
seventh, is my takeaway."
The Cubs got one run back in the top of the fourth when center
fielder Jason Heyward tripled off the center-field wall before
scoring on third baseman Javier Baez's groundout to cut the Pirates'
lead to 3-1.
NOTES: The Cubs didn't arrive in Pittsburgh until early Friday
morning after losing 4-3 in 11 innings to the Braves after the start
of the game on Thursday was delayed by rain. ... Chicago moved OF
Kris Bryant from right field to left on Friday. Ben Zobrist, who
started in right field on Thursday, moved to second base and hit
leadoff. INF Javier Baez replaced Tommy La Stella at third base.
Baez played second base on Thursday. C Miguel Montero replaced
Willson Contreras behind the plate. Contreras played left field. ...
The Pirates promoted 1B Josh Bell from Triple-A Indianapolis and
optioned RHP Tyler Glasnow a day after he made his major league
debut. Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said Bell, the Pirates'
third-best prospect according to Baseball America, would be used as
a bat off of the bench in the weekend series. He pinch-hit in the
pitcher's spot in the order in the seventh inning and laced a single
to center field. ... LF Starling Marte re-entered Pittsburgh's
lineup after taking a day off during its 5-1 loss to the Cardinals
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