#Cubs Arrieta wins ML leading 15th game

Jake Arrieta picked up his Major League leading 15th win Thursday night in the Cubs’ 7-1 victory over the Braves. The right-hander has now thrown 12 consecutive quality starts and has a 1.26 ERA in that stretch. He’s the first Cubs pitcher to record 12 straight quality starts since Greg Maddux had a 14-game stretch, June 25-Aug. 31, 1992. Arrieta also is the first Cubs pitcher to win 15 games since Ryan Dempster went 15-12 in 2010. Arrieta also has struck out a career-high 170 batters.

He got help. Anthony Rizzo hit a three-run homer, his 24th, and Addison Russell added a solo shot as the Cubs ended a three-game losing streak.

Arrieta said he wasn’t thinking about his record.

“The only thing that matters is getting back on track as a team,” he said. “We had a couple tough games against Detroit after a good run. My job and my mindset was to come out and put a stop to that and get us going in the right direction and get another streak rolling.”

There was only one glitch and that was what Arrieta felt was an early exit. He wanted to go deeper in the game. Think about this — all of the Braves’ outs were either ground outs or strikeouts while Arrieta was in the game.

“I felt like tonight there was a lack of efficiency from time to time and some extended at-bats,” he said. ‘I pitched through some traffic and I was able to navigate through those. These guys are good, too. They’re going to find a way to get on base. The key is after that moment, find a way to make some tough pitches and limit damage and keep runs off the board and that’s what I was able to do.”

Manager Joe Maddon opted to pull Arrieta after six innings.

“Of course he’s in great shape — of course he can more,” Maddon said. “Our expectation is to play longer, and he’s not done that. I want him to be well for that moment. Regardless of how they feel now, you’ve got to make those decisions.”

— Carrie Muskat

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