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Chicago Cubs: Jake Arrieta effectively wild in win over St. Louis Cardinals

Apr 4, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta (49) walks off the field after the top of the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 4, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta (49) walks off the field after the top of the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chicago Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta was his signature self on Tuesday night, keeping St. Louis hitters off-balance in a 2-1 win at Busch Stadium.

Right-hander Jake Arrieta held the St. Louis Cardinals in check for most of the night Tuesday, doing his part to give the Chicago Cubs a 2-1 win on the road at Busch Stadium.

Arrieta (1-0, 0.00) allowed one unearned run and four hits, while issuing two walks over six innings. He held St. Louis hitless through three innings to open his first start of the year. He was also charged with a hit-by-pitch and two wild pitches.

The game ended in dramatic fashion. Javier Baez made a play on a ball in shallow right field, diving and spinning – firing a throw to Anthony Rizzo. Kolten Wong raced down the line, colliding with Rizzo on a play that required replay review, but ultimately ruled in Chicago’s favor.

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For the second-straight night, though, the offense was largely held in-check. Chicago (1-1) tallied just five hits on the night, totaling two runs. No Cubs player managed more than one hit, although leadoff man Kyle Schwarber put together several quality at-bats.

Both Cubs’ runs came in top of the fourth against St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright (0-1, 3.60). Former Cardinals outfielder Jason Heyward opened the scoring with an opposite-field bloop single. Baez then broke out the small-ball, bunting a ball down the first base line, allowing Willson Contreras to score from third.

Scary moment for Cardinals’ Piscotty

In the bottom of the fifth with a Stephen Piscotty at second, Kolten Wong chopped a slow roller between first and second. Javier Baez charged the ball, trying to make a barehanded pick-up, and failing.

Piscotty, who rounded third base hard, saw this, racing for home. Baez fired a throw toward the plate, nailing the Cardinals’ outfielder in the helmet. He was removed from the game and an official statement from the team labeled the injury as a head contusion.

Three balls hit the young outfielder in the inning. To start, Piscotty reached via a hit-by-pitch from Arrieta. Then, racing for second base, he was hit with a throw from Contreras. This was followed by the throw from Baez, marking the end of his night – and a very rough frame for Piscotty.

What Stood Out

Really, there are no words. So we’ll just leave this here.

Cubs’ Player of the Game

Six innings of one (unearned) run ball is enough to get the nod in my book. Chicago will go as far as the starting rotation takes them. A big part of that rotation? 2015 NL Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta.

His dominance of Matt Carpenter continued and he left with a lead intact. Kudos to Arrieta for stepping up on a big stage Tuesday night. The Cubs needed a bounceback win and he delivered.

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What’s Next

Chicago (1-1) will conclude the series against St. Louis (1-1) Wednesday at Busch Stadium. John Lackey starts for the Cubs. Lance Lynn returns from a 2016 season-ending injury to start for St. Louis.

First pitch is at 12:45 p.m. CT. WGN carries the TV broadcast, while 670 WSCR owns the radio call from Busch.

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