The Cubs traveled to Salt River Fields to take on the Diamondbacks Thursday afternoon in a game that featured a big-time pitchers duel between Jake Arrieta and Zach Greinke.
The D-Backs drew first blood in the bottom of the 1st inning as 2016 breakout performer Jake Lamb took Arrieta deep for a two-run homer. The Cubs starter then settled down, both on the mound and at the plate. The bearded one pitched four-plus innings of one-run baseball after the 1st.
For good measure he mashed a 464-foot jack to center to cut the Arizona lead in half.
In the top of the 5th, a Kris Bryant single scored Munenori Kawasaki to tie the score at 2-2. Arrieta then picked up his second RBI on the day via a bases loaded ground out in the 6th.
Brian Duensing allowed a Chris Owings sacrifice fly in the 6th, tying the game at 3-3. Oswaldo Arcia took Koji Uehara deep in the 7th to put the D-Backs ahead 4-3.
Tommy La Stella, competing with Matt Szczur for the final spot on the roster, went deep in the 8th to tie the score at 4-all. In the 9th inning, an infield single from Willson Contreras put the Cubs ahead 5-4.
James Pugliese wasn’t able to close out Arizona in the 9th and he D-Backs tied the score at 5-5. That’s how the game ended, in yet another tie.
Stats That Matter
- Jake Arrieta, announced as the No. 2 starter Thursday, had a decent outing: 5 IP, 3 R, 8 H, 4K, and one BB. That was all overshadowed by his tape-measure blast.
- Matt Szczur went 0-for-3 with a walk. He still has the inside track to make the roster and La Stella will need to make a big push late to get there, but more homers will help.
- Willson Contreras went 3-for-5 with an RBI on the day. He also made a rare throwing error on a stolen base attempt.
Jake Arrieta is a pitcher who likes to rake.
It’s another World Series rematch at Sloan Park Friday, as Carlos Carrasco goes for Cleveland and John Lackey takes the hill for the Cubs at 3:05 CDT.