Cubs 7, Cardinals 0

In his second game with the Chicago Cubs, Jake Arrieta showed

exactly why they’re putting him in the rotation for the rest of the

season.

The hard-throwing right-hander dominated the potent St. Louis

Cardinals lineup for seven innings to lead Chicago to a 7-0 victory

Friday.

”That’s the kind of stuff the power arms can do when they’re

throwing strikes and making pitches and you have a 91 mph cutter,

slider or whatever you want to call it,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum

said. ”He made some really good pitches in some key situations of

counts. When you thought you might be losing good hitters, he made

some key pitches on the black at 95, 96 mph.”

Arrieta (1-0) allowed two hits and two walks while striking out

seven. After yielding an infield single to Carlos Beltran in the

second, he got rookie Kolten Wong to ground into a double play.

That started a streak of 13 straight outs (including five

strikeouts) until Arrieta walked St. Louis starter Jake Westbrook

(7-8) in the sixth.

The next batter, Matt Carpenter, also walked to give the

Cardinals their first threat of the game. But Jon Jay grounded into

a fielder’s choice and Matt Holiday struck out looking to end the

inning.

In his only other start with Chicago, Arrieta allowed one run

and two hits in six innings July 30 against Milwaukee. He’s thrown

13 innings in a Cubs uniform and allowed one run. That’s a far cry

from the struggling pitcher who went 1-2 with a 7.23 ERA for

Baltimore this season before he was traded to the Cubs on July

2.

So which one is the real Jake Arrieta? The struggling power arm

or the dominant pitcher he was on Friday?

”That’s what I’m capable of,” Arrieta said. ”It’s just a

matter commanding the ball and limiting my walks. That’s really

what’s gotten me in the past was too many free passes, letting guys

get away when I’m in favorable counts and pretty much keeping my

foot on the gas and staying on the attack.

”I’ve made a conscious effort to get better at certain things

and it’s starting to show.”

The Cubs got Arrieta all the runs he needed in the first inning.

After Westbrook walked the bases loaded, cleanup batter Nate

Schierholtz hit a two-run single to center. Donnie Murphy added a

two-out RBI single to make it 3-0.

Chicago had been shut out in four of its past five home

games.

”We got some big hits. I think the biggest was Nate’s,” Sveum

said. ”We’ve had chances like that this year when we couldn’t come

away with one (run) and to come away with the big hit there and

then Murphy’s two-out hit … to get three runs on the board there

was key in that game.”

The 27-year-old Arrieta should be entering the prime of his

career, but he’s still trying to establish himself in the majors.

He thinks the trade to the Cubs has given him a fresh start free of

his struggles of the past.

”For me, there’s no question that this change of scenery and

this trade was huge for me in my career – not only for me, but for

the Cubs as well,” he said. ”I couldn’t be more excited to be

here and I’m thankful to the front office for wanting me and

bringing me into this organization.”

The Cubs snapped a four-game losing streak and are 7-7 this

season against the Cardinals, who began the day trailing

first-place Pittsburgh by two games in the NL Central.

Westbrook finished with five walks but managed to grind through

6 2-3 innings to save the bullpen. He allowed seven runs – six

earned – and eight hits with two strikeouts.

”I was pretty much all over the place and the walks hurt you,

especially when they’re in a row with no outs,” Westbrook said.

”It wasn’t very good. It’s always frustrating when you don’t give

your team a chance to win and do your job, which I haven’t been

able to do the last couple outings.”

Since coming off the disabled list June 14, Westbrook is 5-7

with a 5.86 ERA. After the loss, he said his arm feels fine.

Asked if Westbrook is certain to make his next start, Cardinals

manager Mike Matheny was non-committal.

”We’ll see how he feels tomorrow,” Matheny said

”That’s not what any of us were looking for,” he added.

”Talked about it before: Sometimes he just has trouble finding the

release point for his sinker and he couldn’t find it today until it

was too late.”

NOTES: Wong started at 2B and went 0 for 3 in his major league

debut. His arrival relegated 3B David Freese, the 2011 World Series

MVP, to the bench. All-Star leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter moved

from second base to third. ”I would say it’s a day-by-day

situation,” Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said. ”I’m

not saying (Wong) has to play every day. There are going to be

times when we want to get David back in the lineup, so I imagine

there’s going to be some split playing opportunities.” … Cubs

RHP Matt Guerrier was scheduled to have surgery on the flexor mass

(near his elbow and forearm) of his throwing arm Friday. The

surgery, performed by Dr. Timothy Kremchek, is expected to sideline

Guerrier six to eight months. … Joe Kelly (3-3) faces Cubs LHP

Travis Wood (7-9) in the second game of the series Saturday.