Jake Arrieta leads Cubs to win in final home game of ’14


Chicago Cubs starter Jake Arrieta recorded his first career triple during the bottom of the fourth inning, staking himself to a 2-0 lead in Wednesday night’s 3-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals, concluding the Cubs’ regular season home schedule.

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Arrieta (10-5, 2.53 ERA) dominated Cardinals hitters, allowing them to only record one run on two hits, while issuing two walks, and 10 strikeouts across seven innings of work. He had himself a fine evening at the plate, finishing the night 1-for-2 with two RBIs and a strikeout.

The lone Cardinals scored their run came during the top of the fifth inning with pitcher John Lackey at the plate. Catcher Yadier Molina came across to score to make it a 2-1 ballgame after Welington Castillo tried to throw out Peter Bourjos at second base. Castillo’s throw got by both Bourjas and shortstop Javier Baez, resulting in his sixth error of the year – four less than his 2013 total.

Lackey (14-10, 3.82 ERA) made it through 6 2/3 innings for St. Louis (88-71). The 35-year-old veteran was definitely outpitched by his counterpart, giving up two runs (both earned) off five hits with four walks and eight strikeouts.

Chris Valaika entered the game during the bottom of the eighth inning with an opportunity to give his team an insurance run and was able to deliver. Valaika drilled the first pitch of the at-bat to left fielder Matt Holliday, allowing Ryan Kalish to come around to score to extend the lead to 3-1 with two outs. Kalish put himself in scoring position on a double to left field following Castillo being called out on strikes.

Hector Rondon entered in the top of the ninth inning for Chicago (71-88), giving up back-to-back singles to both Jhonny Peralta and Molina with two outs. Rondon would pick up his 27th save of the year after getting Oscar Taveras to ground into a force out at second base.

The Cubs’ 41-40 home record happens to be their best since the 2009 season, when the club finished 46-34. They’ll find themselves in Milwaukee to take on the Brewers for their final three games starting Friday. Left-hander Eric Jokisch (0-0, 1.74 ERA) pick up his first Major League start against former Cub Matt Garza (8-8, 3.64 ERA) with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10 p.m. CT.