For the second straight start, right-hander Jake Arrieta flirted with history, as he took a no-hitter into the late innings again Monday night as the Chicago Cubs topped the Boston Red Sox 2-0 in the series opener.
Arrieta (5-1, 1.81 ERA) had issued just one walk and notched ten strikeouts as he neared completing eight innings, but Boston’s Stephen Drew lined a single to right field with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, ending the right-hander’s bid at making history. He was pulled after the single due to a pitch count that had reached 120 and the Chicago bullpen took care of the rest.
Chicago (35-46) got little offense, with a two-run shot by Nate Schierholtz in the top of the fourth accounting for the only runs the team could muster against Boston (38-45) pitching. Arrieta’s counterpart, former Chicago White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy (1-7, 4.82 ERA) allowed the long ball, but nothing else over six innings of work, striking out seven and walking two.
Junior Lake continued to struggle offensively, striking out four times in four at-bats batting in the eight hole in Ricky Renteria’s lineup. Darwin Barney provided little help out of the nine hole, striking out once in an 0-for-4 evening. Schierholtz was the only Chicago hitter to tally multiple hits, going 2-for-4 with the aforementioned home run and a double in his first at-bat.
Arrieta completed a dominant month of June in which he could very well warrant consideration as the National League pitcher of the month if Clayton Kershaw hadn’t been so impressive, as the Cubs righty posted a minuscule 0.91 earned run average.
As a whole, the Chicago Cubs finished the month two games above .500 at 15-13.