Arrieta Baffles Pirates Again; CHICAGO -- Three Hundred and Sixty- Three Days Ago, the Pirates Defeated Jake Arrieta. So There Is a Precedent. [Derived Headline]

By Sawchik, Travis | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, May 14, 2016 | Go to article overview

Arrieta Baffles Pirates Again; CHICAGO -- Three Hundred and Sixty- Three Days Ago, the Pirates Defeated Jake Arrieta. So There Is a Precedent. [Derived Headline]


Sawchik, Travis, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


CHICAGO -- Three hundred and sixty-three days ago, the Pirates defeated Jake Arrieta. So there is a precedent.

The Pirates even led the Cubs and the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner for 12 minutes Saturday.

But then Arrieta got back to being Arrieta, pitching like he might never lose again and leading the Cubs to an 8-2 victory on a chilly, overcast day at Wrigley Field.

After allowing two runs in the fourth inning, Arrieta retired 11 straight batters over his final four scoreless innings -- striking out seven, six looking -- to lead the Cubs to their fifth win over the Pirates in five tries this season.

It was the Cubs' seventh straight victory over the Pirates dating to last season, including the National League wild-card game in which Arrieta ended the Pirates' season.

The Cubs have outscored the Pirates by 26 runs this season.

"(Arrieta) is pitching as well as anyone in the world, anyone in history," Pirates starting pitcher Jeff Locke said. "They are having the start they dreamed of having."

Arrieta continues to bully the Pirates and the NL. The Cubs have won the past 21 games started by their ace, extending his club record. He has not lost since July 25.

The Pirates executed their game plan and still lost to Arrieta, who allowed three hits, two runs and struck out 11 over eight innings.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle outlined the key to beating Arrieta: not chasing out-of-zone pitches. And the Pirates swung and missed at just three out-of-zone pitches during the first three innings.

In the fourth, Andrew McCutchen did not chase two pitches below the zone and slashed the 10th pitch of the at-bat into the left- center gap for a double and the Pirates' first hit. Gregory Polanco followed with a single to center and stole second.

Francisco Cervelli singled to score both runners, the first time Arrieta allowed more than one earned run against the Pirates since Sept. 13, 2013. Arrieta had thrown at least seven innings and allowed one or fewer earned runs against the Pirates in their previous seven meetings.

"(Cervelli) was fired up. Personally, I knew I had my work cut out for me," Arrieta said. "I knew I had some things I had to tighten up. I was able to."

Two pitches later, Arrieta hit Jung Ho Kang in the back. …

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