Jake Arrieta tossed six solid innings Saturday afternoon to earn the win in his return to the Chicago Cubs, who received solo homers from fellow 2016 World Series winners Kris Bryant and Jason Heyward in a 5-1 victory over the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates in the middle contest of a three-game series.
Arrieta (1-0), who returned to the Cubs in February after spending the previous three seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies, allowed one run on six hits and one walk while striking out five. The 35-year-old right-hander gave up the run while allowing three baserunners in a 25-pitch first inning but threw just 59 pitches over the final five innings, during which the Pirates got one runner beyond first base.
Arrieta went 68-31 with a 2.73 ERA for the Cubs between 2013 and 2017, a span in which he threw two no-hitters, won the 2015 National League Cy Young and anchored the rotation when Chicago won its first World Series in 108 years in 2016.
Brandon Workman and Andrew Chafin each struck out two in a perfect inning before Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in a 1-2-3 ninth.
Kevin Newman had an RBI single in the first for the Pirates, who played the final seven innings without promising rookie Ke’Bryan Hayes. The third baseman, who scored on Newman’s hit, exited with a sore left wrist. Hayes looked to be in some pain after fouling off a pitch in his lone plate appearance.
Tyler Anderson (0-1) took the loss in his Pirates debut after giving up three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out seven over five innings. Anderson spent last season with the San Francisco Giants before signing with Pittsburgh in February.
Javier Baez, who also played on the 2016 champions, jump-started the go-ahead rally in the second inning. Baez led off with a single, stole second and third and scored on a single by Jake Marisnick. A single by Heyward sent Marisnick to third before Marisnick trotted home on a sacrifice fly by David Bote.
Bryant homered in the third and Heyward homered in the sixth before Baez added an RBI single in the seventh.
–Field Level Media