A pair of long-balls proved deadly for Jake Arrieta as the Chicago Cubs dropped a 4-0 decision in the series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Winners of seven of their last nine, the Chicago Cubs hoped to carry some momentum into Friday night’s opener at Dodger Stadium. But two veterans had other plans, hitting a home run apiece to lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 4-0 win.
Los Angeles (29-20) got its first run when Chase Utley took Arrieta deep, driving a 1-1 sinker on the outer half into the center-field seats. Just his second homer on the season, the 38-year-old infielder got things rolling for the Dodgers.
In the fourth, the home team added a second tally when Yasmani Grandal doubled to left-center, scoring Corey Seager. The biggest blow came in the bottom of the sixth, though. Adrian Gonzalez hit a mammoth shot to dead-center off Arrieta. The Dodgers’ first baseman’s first homer of the year made it a 4-0 ballgame.
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Arrieta had his highs and lows, as has been the case most of the year. He struck out nine, but allowed four earned un just six innings of work. His earned run average on the year climbed to 4.92.
Offensively, Chicago (25-22) had little going. Left-hander Alex Wood was once again masterful, blanking the Cubs. He tossed five innings of two-hit ball, striking out eight and walking a pair.
What Stood Out
The Cubs’ offense struck out 10 times, going 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position. It would be easy to lay the blame for the loss on Arrieta, but the bats left him hanging.
Ian Happ continues to struggle after a solid start. The young outfielder went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts in the loss.
These two teams do battle again Saturday night at Dodger Stadium.