Arrieta controlled the Reds while Russell had his biggest hit yet as a Cub
The Chicago Cubs went into the fourth inning with a one run lead and ended that inning with more than enough insurance runs for Jake Arrieta (3-1, 2.03 ERA) and the Cubs’ bullpen to get the 5-2 win today and swept the short series against the Reds.
The Cubs (10-7) had an early 1-0 advantage due to a Miguel Montero solo home run (3) in the top of the second off Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani (2-1, 1.04 ERA). Montero would add another run in the fourth with a RBI single scoring Anthony Rizzo to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead.
Addison Russell got his biggest hit as a Chicago Cub in the fourth inning. With the bases loaded, Russell drove a deep line drive to right center field for a base clearing double to give the Cubs a 5-1 lead.
Arrieta mowed down the Reds (8-10) through the first three innings, not allowing a runner to get on base. Into the fourth, he was able to get the first two without any trouble, but Todd Frazier came up and ended the perfect game, no-hitter, and the shutout with one swing of the bat. Frazier connected on an Arrieta curveball and hit a screamer into the seats in left. That would be only the sixth home run that Arrieta has given up since Opening Day 2014.
Zac Rosscup and Pedro Strop shut down the seventh and eighth innings to set up for Hector Rondon to get his fourth save of the year for the Chicago Cubs (10-7) and get the short series sweep from their division rivals by a 5-2 margin.
What Stood Out:
Jake Arrieta (3-1, 2.03 ERA) had another outstanding performance for the Chicago Cubs. He lasted six innings, gave up two runs on four hits while striking out six. He is leading this starting staff and taking the role as the ace of the staff with Jon Lester‘s early struggles.
Addison Russell played well defensively again as he is showing how good of an athlete he is with the smooth transition from short to second base. He also had the big hit in the fourth with the base clearing double, finishing the day 1-for-4 with three driven in.
Miguel Montero had a nice day at the dish, going 2-for-4 with the homer (3), two runs, and two driven in. The three home runs in the season tie Montero with Chris Coghlan for the team lead. That home run was also a career milestone for Montero as it was his 100th of his career.
With a two wins in a row, the Chicago Cubs now find themselves 2 1/2 games behind division leaders the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Chicago Cubs (10-7) are back home at the friendly confines of Wrigley Field where they will start a six-game homestand Monday against the Pittsburgh Pirates (10-8). It is a battle for second place in the NL Central – the Cubs have a half a game lead over the Pirates who heading into Sunday are on a four-game winning streak.
Jason Hammel (1-1, 5.19 ERA) will get the first game start for the Cubs. He’ll look to bounce back in this rematch from last week’s loss to the Pirates where Hammel went five innings and gave up three runs off of six hits.
The Pirates will give the ball to Vance Worley (2-1, 4.00 ERA). He will try to duplicate his last start which was against the Chicago Cubs. He recorded the victory while going 5 2/3 innings, giving up six hits, one unearned run, and five K’s.
The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 CT tomorrow night.