Jake Arrieta showed why he’s considered one of the best pitchers in the game Sunday as the Chicago Cubs topped the Atlanta Braves 4-1.
The Chicago right-hander struck out 10 over seven scoreless frames in which he allowed just three hits and a trio of walks as Chicago picked up the win in the rubber match of the three-game set at Turner Field.
Arrieta (11-5, 2.52) was staked to an early lead, with the Cubs scoring three of their four tallies in the first three innings.
First, it was Jonathan Herrera driving in a pair of runs with a two-run single against Braves starter Shelby Miller in the top of the second. One inning later, outfielder Jorge Soler took the Atlanta right-hander deep for his fifth home run of the season.
Miller (5-6, 2.33) was the tough-luck loser on Sunday, given he allowed just one earned run in six innings of work, in which he struck out eight but walked four.
Chicago (49-41) gained a game in the Central, as both the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals both dropped decisions, pulling the Cubs within eight games of first and 3 1/2 games of second place.
A Chris Coghlan run-scoring double in the top of the ninth against former Cubs hurler Arodys Vizcaino made it 4-0 Chicago before a two-out Andrelton Simmons double in the bottom of the ninth pulled the Braves within three before Jason Motte shut the door.
Coghlan was the only Cubs player to tally more than one base hit in the win, as, once again, Chicago struggled with runners in scoring position (2-for-12).
Chicago (49-41) will head to Great American Ballpark to open a four-game, three-day series against the Cincinnati Reds.