CHICAGO (AP) Jake Arrieta retired his first 18 batters and struck out nine in seven impressive innings, leading the Chicago Cubs to a 7-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.
Arrieta (4-1) was working on a perfect game before rookie Billy Hamilton started the seventh with a single up the middle. The right-hander allowed two runs and three hits while improving to 3-0 with a 1.14 ERA in five June starts.
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Anthony Rizzo belted a solo homer for the second straight night for the Cubs, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Welington Castillo drove in two runs, including a sacrifice fly in Chicago's three-run eighth.
Devin Mesoraco homered for the fifth straight game for Cincinnati, matching a franchise record. Mesoraco's 14th homer came with one out in the ninth against Neil Ramirez.
Arrieta received a warm ovation from the crowd of 28,226 after Hamilton's hit in the seventh. He retired the next two batters before Mesoraco singled to drive in Hamilton and Jay Bruce added an RBI double that cut Chicago's lead to two.
Arrieta struck out Ryan Ludwick to end the inning, completing his masterful night against one of the majors' hottest lineups. Cincinnati had won three straight and nine of 12, averaging 6.7 runs and 10.2 hits per game in that stretch.