Arrieta serves up three homers to aggressive KC

Last time righty did so was Sept. 13, 2013, against the Bucs

Arrieta serves up three homers to aggressive KC

CHICAGO -- Jake Arrieta knew the Royals would be aggressive early and tried to groove a fastball past leadoff batter Alcides Escobar. No chance.

Escobar hit his second homer of the season off the first pitch of the game Friday, one of three solo home runs off Arrieta, to help the Royals beat the Cubs, 8-4, Friday in the first game of an Interleague series.

Escobar homers on first pitch

Alex Gordon also connected off Arrieta in the second and Salvador Perez did so in the fourth, marking the first time Arrieta has served up three homers in a game since Sept. 13, 2013, against the Pirates.

"They came out swinging, and I expected that," Arrieta said of the Royals. "It's tough when, as an opposing club, you come here, see what the wind is doing [and it makes you want to swing for the fences]."

Gordon also hit the first pitch from Arrieta for his blast, but it came off a sinker.

Gordon's solo shot

"I wanted the ball in, and again it leaked back to the outer third," Arrieta said. "He put a good swing on it. He hits the ball to the opposite field pretty well, as do a lot of their left-hand hitters. And the Perez homer, I think it was a 2-2 curveball that was underneath the zone. I think it split the plate. He just stayed back and went down and got it, and sometimes big league hitters are going to do that to you."

Perez's solo dinger

Said Cubs manager Joe Maddon: "Their game plan was to come out swinging. They thought he was going to throw a lot of first-pitch fastballs, and that's fine. You have to make a better located fastball."

The Cubs did rally to tie the game at 4, fueled by a two-run homer from Jorge Soler in the sixth and a solo shot from Addison Russell in the seventh.

Russell's game-tying home run

Arrieta struck out five over seven innings and did not get a decision. He finished May with a 3.99 ERA after posting a 2.03 ERA in four April starts.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.