The Chicago Cubs and Jake Arrieta started off the second half of the season with a bang by taking the final two games of a weekend series while visiting the Atlanta Braves then followed that up by designating veteran right-hander Edwin Jackson for assignment.
First, starting pitcher Jon Lester flirted with a no-hitter during Saturday evening’s contest and had it broken up by long time Chicago White Sox catcher, A.J. Pierzynski in the eighth inning. Joe Maddon‘s club would go on to defeating the Braves in that game by the final score of 4-0 on Saturday – which just so happened to be Lester’s first win in a while.
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Saturday’s victory evened things up at one apiece for both clubs, leaving it up to Arrieta and All-Star Shelby Miller to battle it out on Sunday. Arrieta nearly put together another no-hit but until Pierzynski broke that up in the fourth inning with a double to right field.
Speaking of right field, Jorge Soler clubbed his first home run since late May during the top of the third inning. He extended the Cubs lead to 3-0 on a 94 miles per hour fastball that was deposited behind the fence in center field.
It was his sixth home run of the season, but it’s good to see Soler’s bat hasn’t gone away. Infielder Jonathan Herrera backed up Arrieta early RBI single in the second to plate both Chris Coghlan and shortstop Starlin Castro.
The 29-year-old ace hurled seven scoreless frames, allowing only three hits while posting a 10/3 K/BB ratio to record his career-high 11th win. Maybe this will lead to a long-term deal between both parties?
Coghlan added to the score later on in the game, making it 4-1 with his 16th double of the season which scored All-Star first baseman, Anthony Rizo.
Once the game wrapped, it was announced that veteran right-hander Edwin Jackson had been designated for assignment. This isn’t necessarily a surprise, at least to us.
Jackson was moved from the starting rotation over to the bullpen back in September of last year and opened up the 2015 campaign in a long-relief role. He would eventually be accompanied by seasoned southpaw, Travis Wood.
The move to designate Jackson was made in order to make room for the recently signed reliever, Rafael Soriano. After Jackson tipped his cap to the organization and the city of Chicago, the Cubs have at least 10 days to either trade, waive or release him.
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