Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Jake Arrieta continued his recent dominance
Tuesday night by taking a perfect game into the seventh inning, as the Chicago
Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds, 7-3, in the second test of a three-game series.
Arrieta retired the first 18 batters he faced before Billy Hamilton singled up
the middle to start the seventh. The right-hander went on to give up two runs
in the inning before exiting.
Arrieta (4-1), who had nine strikeouts, is 3-0 over his last five starts and
has tossed seven frames in each of his previous three outings.
"I knew that's kind of what was going on from the get-go, most guys do when
you're in a situation like that," Arrieta said of the perfect-game bid. "But I
just wanted to continue to execute pitches and try and pitch deep in the game.
"That was the only couple of thoughts going through my head."
A Cubs pitcher has never thrown a perfect game. The last Cubs pitcher to throw
a no-hitter was Carlos Zambrano on Sept. 14, 2008.
Anthony Rizzo went 3-for-4 with a solo homer and two runs scored for the Cubs,
who snapped a three-game skid. Welington Castillo knocked in two runs.
Devin Mesoraco homered in his fifth straight game for the Reds, matching a
franchise record. He finished with two RBI and two runs scored.
Cincinnati starter Homer Bailey (7-4) failed to continue his domination of the
Cubs, giving up four runs on four hits with six strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings.
The Reds had won his previous 10 starts against Chicago, during which time
Bailey went 7-0.
Both Arrieta and Bailey were in command early on, and neither team had a hit
until Rizzo homered to right-center-field with two outs in the fourth.
Castillo hit an RBI double in the fifth to make it 2-0.
The Cubs tacked on two more runs in the sixth. Arrieta and Junior Lake walked
and Rizzo singled to load the bases with one out. Bailey hit Starlin Castro on
the right hand with a pitch to force in Arrieta. J.J. Hoover took over on the
mound and Nate Schierholtz greeted him with a sacrifice fly.
After Hamilton singled to start the seventh, Arrieta retired the next two
batters. Mesoraco's RBI single and Jay Bruce's run-scoring double cut the gap
to 4-2. Ryan Ludwick struck out swinging to end the inning.
The Cubs used four relievers to get through the eighth.
The home team followed with three insurance runs off Sam LeCure in the home
half. With the bases loaded and one out, Schierholtz reached first on Joey
Votto's fielding error that scored Lake and Rizzo. Castillo added a sacrifice
Mesoraco hit a solo homer off Neil Ramirez in the ninth.
"It doesn't mean as much because we lost," Mesoraco said. "The other homers
seemed to help us win. It was late in the game and really didn't mean
anything. It's nice to be in that company."
The start of the game was delayed 53 minutes by rain ... Bailey fell to 8-3
lifetime against the Cubs.