#Cubs Arrieta ready for opener
Jake Arrieta showed he’s ready for Opening Night. The Cubs right-hander tuned up by throwing 102 pitches over five innings, and got plenty of help as Kyle Schwarber, Addison Russell, Matt Szczur, David Ross and Munenori Kawasaki each homered in a 9-5 win Tuesday over the Athletics.
Arrieta, who came out of his last start after two-thirds of an inning to avoid breaking open a blister on his right thumb, was charged with one run on two hits and struck out five. His next start will be Monday against the Angels in the season opener.
“The blister’s good,” Arrieta said. “It was nice to get the pitch count up that high. Today, I got to throw all my stuff, got to pitch through some struggles a little bit with command. I was off a little bit timing-wise but was able to make some good adjustments after a couple to get back on track. … I like where I’m at going into our first game.”
Arrieta has been able to do his normal side work, and said the blister is a “non issue.”
Szczur, told earlier in the day that he had made the Opening Day roster for the second straight year, missed hitting for the cycle by a triple. He doubled in the second, hit a bunt single in the fourth, and hit a two-run homer in the sixth.
“I knew they had faith in me and knew they trusted me,” Szczur said. “It’s a great feeling to be on the squad.”
— Carrie Muskat