Jake Arrieta begins important West Coast trip tonight vs Giants


It’s been a huge month for Jake Arrieta and the Chicago Cubs who have pretty much dominated the month of August behind a seven, nine and now a five-game winning streak entering tonight’s series opener against the defending World Series champions.

Yesterday, southpaw Jon Lester took the mound during June’s make-up game against the Cleveland Indians and nearly became the first Cubs (72-51) lefty to work a complete game shutout in nine years. Instead, first baseman Carlos Santana tied things up at one apiece with an RBI single to left field to knock him out after 8 2/3 frames.

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While the Cubs continue to storm towards a post-season berth, they’ve been hit with several injury bugs over the last couple of days. Shortstop Addison Russell, outfielder Jorge Soler, and reliever Jason Motte were both injured over the weekend.

Russell suffered a groin injury but was not in the lineup on Monday because his fiance was in labor with their child. Soler and Motte, on the other hand, were placed on the 15-day disabled list and could miss up to a month of action.

After a strong performance by Lester, it’ll be up to Arrieta to keep things going without several key pieces of this puzzle. Arrieta (15-6, 2.30 ERA) has turned in 12 consecutive quality starts and is looking to record his sixth straight win in the process.

He worked six scoreless innings of four-hit ball while issuing one walk and punching out seven batters in the 7-1 victory. The 29-year-old right-hander pitched during that four-game weekend sweep of the Giants (66-58) and held them to only four hits across 7 2/3 innings.

Taking the mound opposite Arrieta will be 30-year-old right-hander, Matt Cain. Cain (2-3, 5.66 ERA) performed well in his previous outing while visiting the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Cardinals tagged him for two earned runs on six hits and one home run in six innings. He picked up a no-decision as the Redbirds would go onto winning that game by the final score of 4-3.

As of right now, the Cubs hold a 6.5 game lead over the Giants for the second N.L. Wild Card spot. This road trip is key for this club and should be treated as if it were a playoff series.

First pitch is slated for 9:15 p.m. central time and will air live on WGN, WBBM 780.

Here’s a look at tonight’s starting lineup’s for both clubs:

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