Cub's Arrieta shuts down Cardinals
CHICAGO -- Only one St. Louis Cardinals batter managed to figure out new Chicago Cubs starter Jake Arrieta on Friday.
Carlos Beltran collected a double and a single while the rest of the Cardinals went 0-for-seven innings as Arrieta claimed his first Cubs win in a 7-0 victory over the Cardinals to open a three-game weekend series at Wrigley Field.
Making his first start as the newest member of the Cubs rotation, the 27-year-old right-hander struck out six and walked just two in seven successful innings.
"That's what I'm capable of, it's just a matter of commanding the ball and limiting my walks," said Arrieta, "I've made a conscious effort to get better at certain things, and it's starting to show."
It was the second appearance for Arrieta (1-0, 0.69 ERA) since arriving in a July 2 trade with the Orioles. He was promoted to the starting rotation this week following a successful spot start late last month.
"That's the kind of stuff the power arms can do," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "He made some really good pitches in key situations and counts. When you thought you might be losing good hitters, he made good pitches down and away."
Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook (7-8) allowed three runs in the first inning, then settled down until the fifth, when he gave up another. He worked 6 2/3 innings and allowed six earned runs on eight hits, while walking five and striking out two.
Nate Schierholtz was 1-for-3 with an RBI single and a sacrifice fly while Welington Castillo, Darwin Barney and Donnie Murphy each had a pair of hits. Beltran went 2-for-4 for St. Louis.
Westbrook walked the first three batters in the opening inning and gave up a two-run single to Schierholtz for a 2-0 Chicago lead with none out. Castillo hit into a double play for the inning's first outs, leaving Anthony Rizzo at third.
Rizzo scored on Murphy's base hit to left.
"I was pretty much all over the place, and three walks hurt you, especially when they're in a row, especially with no out," Westbrook said. "It's always frustrating when you don't give your team a chance to win and you don't do your job, which I haven't been able to do in the last couple of outings."
St. Louis put runners on first and third with two out in the
second, but failed to score when Rob Johnson grounded to short to end the inning
Chicago added a single run with two out in the fifth as Westbrook's pitch count approached 90. Junior Lake reached on a fielder's choice, advanced to third on Rizzo's single to and scored on Schierholtz's sacrifice fly to right for a 4-0 lead.
Arrieta walked Westbrook and Matt Carpenter with one out in the sixth. Jon Jay grounded into a fielder's choice that forced Carpenter at second but pushed Westbrook to third for Matt Holliday.
But Arrieta struck out Holliday looking to end the threat.
Barney's double to left in the sixth drove home Murphy from first as Johnson couldn't hold onto a relay throw to the plate from shortstop Daniel Descalso.
Barney, who had collected his 100th career extra-base hit, made it 6-0 when he scored on Arrieta's grounder to third.
Westbrook returned for the seventh but left in favor of left-hander Sam Freeman with two out and Castillo at first and Rizzo at second.
Back-to-back wild pitches allowed the runners to advance a base and allowed Rizzo to score for a 7-0 lead.
The relatively long outing by Westbrook at least gave the Cardinal bullpen a break.
"We needed our starter to go deep today," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. "After the first inning that didn't look like it was going to happen. (But) Jake dug in and figured out how to get us into the later part of the game."
NOTES: Arietta was officially called up from Triple-A Iowa prior to Friday's game for his second stint with the club. He made a spot start in game two of a July 30 doubleheader against the Brewers ... The Cubs, in turn, sent RHP Eduardo Sanchez to Iowa. He took the loss in Wednesday's 6-4 loss to the Reds, allowing two runs on a hit while walking three. ... The Cubs had been hitting .183 in their last five home games and endured three shutouts, including a franchise-record 33-inning scoreless streak. ... The Cardinals purchased the contract of infielder Kolten Wong from Triple-A Memphis late Thursday and promptly inserted him in Friday's lineup. Wong was hitting .303 with Memphis through 107 games, 11th in the Pacific Coast
League. ... To make room for Wong, St. Louis optioned outfielder Adron Chambers to Memphis. ... Wong is the 18th rookie to appear with St. Louis this season, the most among Major League clubs. ... Holliday saw a 12-game hitting streak snapped as he went 0-for-4.