#Cubs finish trip 5-1 with win over D-backs
Jake Arrieta picked up his 22nd consecutive quality start, and helped himself by hitting a two-run homer Sunday in the Cubs’ 7-3 win over the D-backs. Arrieta’s consecutive scoreless innings streak ended when Paul Goldschmidt launched a leadoff homer in the fourth. Arrieta had thrown 32 straight scoreless innings, matching Bob Rush, who also did so in 1952. Bill Lee holds the franchise record of 35 and 37 scoreless innings, set in 1938.
Socrates Brito also homered off Arrieta, and it’s the first time he’s served up multiple blasts in a game since last May 29 against the Royals.
Jorge Soler hit a tie-breaking leadoff home run in the sixth and a sacrifice fly in the seventh, and Tommy La Stella had three hits for the Cubs, who took the series, 3-1, and head home with a 5-1 record.
“We’ve been playing a complete game,” manager Joe Maddon said. “Batting order up and down is working good at-bats, defense has been pretty tight. We’ve been catching the ball pretty well. Base running, which nobody talks about, has been extraordinary. The pitching has been really, really good, starters and relievers. You play a complete game like we’ve played over the first six games, you should win several games. We’re just playing good baseball.”
What’s impressed Maddon is the players’ approach — they’ve had what he calls “relentless at-bats.” Soler’s at-bats got better as the game progressed, and that was encouraging, too. Soler struck out on three pitches in the first inning to strand two runners, but then homered in the sixth and hit his sac fly in the seventh.
“You talk about the relentless at-bats, that’s a mental component, that’s not physical,” Maddon said. “You can stay in the cage as long as you want or take as many swings as you want, that’s not going to matter. It’s about what you’re thinking, and those are well thought out at-bats by our group. We get him there with those strong mental at-bats and the sky’s the limit for him.”
— Carrie Muskat