Jake Arrieta, Cubs escape Washington with 2-1 win

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1. 90. 2. 9. Final

Arrieta goes strong in six frames

Jake Arrieta worked six innings Thursday night in Washington, holding the Nationals to just one earned run on six hits with zero walks and eight strikeouts in the Cubs 2-1 victory.

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Chicago opened up the game with two runs and the bases loaded with Gio Gonzalez on the mound in the very first inning. Lead-off man Dexter Fowler singled to right fielder Bryce Harper with rookie third baseman Kris Bryant due up next.

Maddon’s young phenom would work a five-pitch walk, moving Fowler into scoring position with no outs as Anthony Rizzo stepped into the batter’s box. Gonzalez appeared to be struggling with his command, issuing his second walk of the inning to Junior Lake.

Lake, 25, brought himself some negative attention in yesterday’s series finale in Miami after ‘pimping out’ his home run then followed that up by taunting the home dugout.

Thankfully, he didn’t do anything similar tonight in our Nation’s Capital.

With Arrieta working through innings, Chicago (28-24) had the opportunity to pad their 2-0 lead in the top half of the first with runners in scoring position.

Rookie second baseman Addison Russell worked a 10 pitch at-bat, fighting off a total of five pitches before being handed first base but would eventually get caught trying to steal home for the third out.

Gio Gonzalez (4-3, 4.57 ERA) allowed two earned runs on just four hits but managed to issue four free passes while striking out six batters across six frames prior to handing things over to the bullpen.

Washington (29-25) appeared to be threatening Arrieta’s lead by having the bases loaded. Both Denard Span and Anthony Rendon reached safely on a single and a double while Danny Espinosa was hit by an 89 MPH slider with one out.

Harper stepped into the plate needing to score a run to make things interesting and would do so by grounding out to first baseman Anthony Rizzo, making it a 2-1 ball game. Arrieta eventually escaped the bases loaded jam after Ian Desmond lined to Rizzo to retire the side.

With Rendon looking to even things up in the ninth with Michael Taylor on second base, closer Hector Rondon picked off Clint Robinson at first to slam the door on the Nats, ending their brief two-game skid.

Both clubs will continue their four-game series tomorrow as Tsuyoshi Wada (0-0, 2.30 ERA) takes on Illinois-native Tanner Roark (1-2, 2.59 ERA) with the first pitch slated for 6:05 pm central time.

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