Arrieta pitches Cubs past Blue Jays
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[August 19, 2017]
CHICAGO -- Jake Arrieta has
promised that his best pitching is yet to come.
It's hard to complain about his current production, however, as he
produced his third straight win and seventh straight quality start
in Friday's 7-4 interleague victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Arrieta (13-8) allowed a first-inning run and two hits and then
scattered four hits the rest of the way in his 6 1/3-inning outing.
"I've located the ball really well, I've established certain things
early on in the ballgame that allow me to do things differently as
the game progresses," said Arrieta, who's yielded just 10 earned
runs in his last seven starts.
"The game plan is always to utilize strengths and try to expose a
weakness here and there with the opposing offense and try to pitch
into the seventh inning."
The Cubs (64-57) maintained their perch atop the National League
Central while the Blue Jays (59-63) saw a two-game winning streak
come to a halt.
Toronto starter J.A. Happ (6-9) took the loss and had a three-game
winning streak snapped.
"It was a battle for him," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "I
thought he was OK. ... He had to work, he really had to work in
those early innings."
Cubs closer Wade Davis pitched a one-two-three ninth to earn his
Chicago shortstop Javier Baez (2-for-4) clubbed a two-run homer --
his 20th -- in the eighth inning while rookie catcher Victor
Caratini went 3-for-3, walked and scored a run to lead the Cubs.
Albert Almora Jr. and Anthony Rizzo each also had two hits in
Chicago's 13-hit attack.
Toronto jumped to a short-lived 1-0 lead in the first as Steve
Pearce singled to right-center and drove in Justin Smoak with two
Chicago replied with three runs in the second. Leadoff batter Ben
Zobrist walked, reached third on Caratini's double and came home on
a Jason Heyward single. Baez drove in Caratini with a base hit and
Almora singled to shallow right to bring in Heyward.
The Cubs touched up Happ for two more runs in the fifth as Rizzo's
double to left-center brought home Almora and Kris Bryant.
Happ lasted five innings before departing for left-handed reliever
Aaron Loup. Happ gave up five runs on nine hits, walked two and
struck out eight while throwing 103 pitches.
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Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta (49) delivers a pitch during the
first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Wrigley Field.
Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports
Arrieta left in the seventh after throwing 93 pitches
and 61 for strikes. Right-handed reliever Carl Edwards Jr. inherited
runners on first and second with one out. He got pinch hitter
Kendrys Morales to ground into a fielder's choice to first and Rizzo
fired home to Caratini to catch Kevin Pillar trying to score from
third. Edwards closed the frame by striking out Jose Bautista.
Arrieta allowed one run on six hits, walked two and struck out six.
"Today he threw a lot of strikes, he gets ahead in the count that's
when he good," said Blue Jays catcher Miguel Montero, who caught
Arrieta for several seasons while with the Cubs. "That's why he went
deep in the game."
The Blue Jays hit Cubs reliever Pedro Strop for three eighth-inning
runs, including a two-run single by Ryan Goins that scored Montero
and Pillar and make it a one-run game.
Chicago replied with a one-out, two-run homer by Baez off reliever
Tim Mayza in the bottom of the inning for a 7-4 lead.
NOTES: The weekend interleague series is the Blue Jays' first visit
to Wrigley Field since June 6-8, 2005, the second longest gap beaten
the Cubs and any opponent in franchise history. ... Toronto has
played only four all-time games at Wrigley, the fewest by any major
league team. ... The Blue Jays send RHP Nick Tepesch (1-2, 5.25 ERA)
against Cubs LHP Jose Quintana (3-2, 3.86 ERA) in Saturday's game.
... The Cubs placed LHP Jon Lester (left lat tightness/general
shoulder fatigue) and RHP Justin Grimm (finger infection) on the
10-day disabled list on Friday. They called up RHP Felix Pena and
LHP Rob Zastryzny from Triple-A Iowa). ... With two solo homers on
Thursday, Cubs rookie Ian Happ became only the second Cubs player
since at least 1913 with three multi-homer games in his first 78
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