Jake Arrieta solid but Cubs drop opener to Milwaukee


Right-hander Jake Arrieta rebounded from his worst start of the season turning in seven-plus quality innings of work against the Milwaukee Brewers Monday night, but the Cubs offense managed just one run in a 3-1 loss at Wrigley Field.

Chicago (50-67) continued its struggles against clubs in the NL Central, falling to 17-31 against its division company with its latest loss. The Cubs attempted a late rally in the bottom of the ninth against Milwaukee closer Francisco Rodriguez, but fell short. After Starlin Castro beat out a ground ball to reach with one out, a fielder’s choice off the bat of Luis Valbuena retired the Chicago shortstop and put Valbuena at first with two outs. Center fielder Arismendy Alcantara was retired easily by Rodriguez to end any chances for a walk-off win.

Arrieta (6-4, 2.77 ERA) allowed two earned runs on five hits, pitching into the eighth Monday night, also notching four strikeouts and walking just one. Pedro Strop finished out the eighth and Justin Grimm pitched a one-run ninth, in which a Scooter Gennett RBI single plated an insurance run for the Brewers (66-53).

Mark Reynolds opened the scoring with a solo shot off Arrieta in the top of the second. Neither team scored again until Chris Coghlan plated Justin Ruggiano in the bottom of the fifth, accounting for the only Chicago run and tying the game 1-1.

A Khris Davis RBI double in the top of the seventh proved to be the game-winner for the Brewers, who were led by a dominant start by right-hander Yovani Gallardo (7-6, 3.44 ERA). Gallardo tossed seven innings of one-run ball for Milwaukee, scattering just six hits.