#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


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I`ve heard it said the last time the Cubs began a season 5-1 was eighteen years ago. The way Rondon closed that game Saturday night was awesome. He threw strikes and made short order of those Arizona batters, including Goldy. Am pleased Rondon was not needed today. Don`t want to see him used in back to back games if it can be avoided. With 13 pitchers, there are many bodies available to share the load. Loved seeing La Stella excel today. In addition to the three knocks, he made a nice defensive play on a ground ball to his left late in the game. The Diamondbacks` broadcasters on XM/Sirius radio praised Tommy highly. [Isabel must be elated.}

Aloha jhosk, I agree with you on La Stella and really could see his value with yesterday’s game. I also enjoyed watching Warren’s first outting; one of just many I hope! You take care now. Mahalo!

Absolutely agree about Warren, k.g. He looked sharp even though he had not worked in a long while. After watching “Quick Pitch” today on the MLB Network, that ball which La Stella stabbed was to his right, not his left as I originally stated. There are numerous players deserving of praise for this impressive start on the road. We cited just a few. Recall Joe Maddon stressing in Spring Training the importance of beginning the regular season successfully. I`ve heard it said the Reds have gotten off to a very good start as well. This series figures to be a competitive one.

It should be a very good series jhosk.
The really impressive part in my opinion is the patience at the plate. In 6 games, the Cubs have walked 31 times, while the Cubs Pitching has allowed only 7 walks.
Also other teams are starting out with the long ball, the Cubs are barely keeping up with Story of the Rockies. Wait until the Cubs start hitting the long ball.

Aloha jasper, good points. You know I love vets and having Zobrist for example is great for the younger guys because he exhibits that patience and deliberate approach at the plate. And small ball wears down an opposing team imo over the hitting of one-two dingers per game. So you are right, when the team’s power comes around it will scary. Take care now! Mahalo!

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