CHICAGO (AP) – The Colorado Rockies were confident about facing Jake Arrieta after piling up runs during their three-game winning streak.
The reigning NL Cy Young winner had other ideas.
Arrieta threw eight scoreless innings and the Chicago Cubs hit three home runs to beat the Rockies 6-2 on Saturday.
Arrieta (3-0) struck out eight and allowed five hits in his home debut. He has not allowed a run in his last 48 2/3 innings at Wrigley Field.
“You could tell his fastball was explosive right out of the gate,” Colorado manager Walt Weiss said. “We knew it was going to be tough to score.”
Dexter Fowler hit a three-run homer in the seventh, and Anthony Rizzo and Jorge Soler hit back-to-back shots in the fourth.
The Cubs have won nine of 11 for their best start since they went 10-1 in 1969.
Carlos Gonzalez hit a two-run home run, his fourth, off Travis Wood in the ninth. Gonzalez also singled in the fourth to extend his hitting streak to 11 games this season and 21 since 2015.
Christian Bergman (0-2) matched a career high of seven strikeouts and allowed two runs in five innings in his first start of the season. He made the spot start after giving up four runs in three relief innings.
Rizzo and Soler homered on the first two pitches of the fourth.
Fowler homered on a 2-1 pitch from David Hale with two outs in the seventh. Hale almost escaped the jam when Fowler popped up near the Cubs bullpen, but left fielder Ryan Raburn misplayed the ball and stumbled on the mound. Three pitches later, Fowler deposited Hale’s pitch in the right-field seats.
Arrieta struck out the first three batters swinging and retired 10 straight from the fourth to the seventh inning.
“I was throwing a lot of breaking balls for strikes early,” Arrieta said. “Using a good mix to keep them off balance.”
The Rockies had their best chance to score in the third. Dustin Garneau led off with a double but was stranded at third after Cristhian Adames grounded out and rookie Trevor Story struck out.
“The good ones, when they get some traffic or get guys in scoring position, they take it up a notch,” Weiss said. “That’s what he (Arrieta) did in that situation.”
Story leads the majors with seven homers but continued to struggle against Chicago. He went 0 for 5 with two strikeouts Friday and 1 for 4 with a double and three strikeouts Saturday.
Before Rizzo’s home run, right fielder Gonzalez set up as if he was going to catch the ball before it landed in the right-field stands.
“I’m playing around trying to fool people,” Gonzalez said. “Even when it’s gone I try and give a hard time for the hitter. A couple guys around the league always get mad at me because I act like I’m gonna
catch the ball and they get a little heart attack before it’s even a home run. I like to have fun with the game.”
Rockies: C Nick Hundley went on the seven-day concussion disabled list, retroactive to Thursday, and RHP Hale was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque on Saturday. Hundley has been experiencing concussion symptoms after taking a foul tip off his mask Wednesday. “I was supposed to do 10 sprints, but got to four, swung in the cage and got a little woozy,” Hundley said. “So I shut it down and just said ‘let’s take it back a notch’ and let it recover more.” … Hale was 0-1 with a 1.50 ERA in six innings at Albuquerque after he strained his right hamstring in spring training.
Cubs: 2B Javier Baez (thumb) made his first start after coming off the disabled list Friday.
Rockies RHP Tyler Chatwood (1-1, 4.38 ERA) will start the series finale against Cubs LHP Jon Lester (1-0, 2.77). Lester is 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA in his career against Colorado. Chatwood is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA versus Chicago.
– By ADAM ROSSOW, AP Sports Writer
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