Arrieta struggles as Pirates throttle Cubs


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Starting pitcher Jake Arrieta of the Cubs was woeful on Wednesday, allowing seven runs to score.
Starting pitcher Jake Arrieta of the Cubs was woeful on Wednesday, allowing seven runs to score.

PITTSBURGH -- It was another sloppy game from the Cubs ace in front of a raucous Pittsburgh crowd on a mild 72-degree night. In an 8-4 Cubs loss to the Pirates, Arrieta didn’t look too bad to start the game, but was lifted after giving up seven runs in five innings of work. Cubs’ skipper Joe Maddon had talked previously about how Arrieta’s fastball command has been off recently and it seems to be persisting through the home stretch. Last week against the Cardinals, Arrieta threw seven innings of shutout ball en route to his 18th win. Tonight, he was less than sterling as he seemingly could not locate his fastball around the knees, and overall could not keep the Pirates’ hitters off-base, allowing 12 runners during his performance.

The Pirates doing the most damage was first baseman John Jaso. He went 4-for-4 with 5 RBI on the night hitting the first cycle in PNC Park history. Sean Rodriguez, Josh Bell, and Eric Fryer also chipped in with two hits apiece to help put the Cubs away for good.

The Cubs’ bats were stifled for six innings by young Jameson Taillon (4-4). Except for a solo home run by Anthony Rizzo in the top of the first inning, the Cubs went without a hit for the first six innings of play. Once Taillon was lifted, the bats did just enough to scratch out a few runs against reliever Jared Hughes, capitalizing on a throwing error by third baseman David Freese and a wild pitch.

Chris Coghlan left the game in the fifth inning with what looked like an ankle injury after jumping against the wall to try to make a play on a McCutchen fly ball. His status is still uncertain for the remainder of games in the regular season. The Cubs will finish out their series with the Pirates tomorrow night at 7:05 EDT. Rob Zastryzny will make his first start for the Cubs as he has been mainly used from the bullpen this year.


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