Eighth-inning RBI heroes Howie Kendrick and Adrian Gonzalez.
By Jon Weisman
Jake Arrieta bent, and an inning later, the Cubs broke.
In his first start against the Dodgers since his August 30 no-hitter, Arrieta pitched seven more shutout innings. But he didn’t no-hit them (pop the champagne), and in fact, barely escaped the seventh inning after walking the bases loaded.
Once he was out of the game, the Dodgers struck, with a trio of singles from Chase Utley, Corey Seager and Adrian Gonzalez breaking a scoreless tie in the eighth — as well as ending 26 consecutive scoreless innings against Chicago dating back to last season — and propelling the Dodgers to a rain-delayed 5-0 victory over the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
The Dodgers not only answered the Cubs’ one-hitter Monday with one of their own (retiring the final 19 batters), they evened their record on their road trip against last year’s National League pennant finalists to 3-2, with two games to go. In those six games, Gonzalez (2 for 4) is 10 for 19 with two walks.
Howie Kendrick capped an eight-pitch at-bat with an opposite-field sacrifice fly for the Dodgers’ second run, and a three-run homer in the final inning by Corey Seager (3 for 5) — his team-leading ninth of the season — put the game all but out of reach.
While Arrieta came away with a no-decision, and in fact allowed only two more hits in this start against the Dodgers than he did in his last one, the loss nevertheless ended a 23-game Cubs winning streak in games their ace has started, which had tied a Major League record, according to ESPN Stats & Info.