MINNEAPOLIS -- Right-hander Jake Arrieta registered his second career shutout, while Dexter Fowler connected on a grand slam in the eighth inning to help the Cubs to a series victory over the Twins with an 8-0 win on Sunday afternoon at Target Field.
Arrieta was dominant, scattering just four hits and striking out seven to pick up his third win over his last four starts and his first shutout since Sept. 16, 2014, against the Reds. He retired 12 straight batters before giving up a two-out single to Byron Buxton in the eighth inning for Buxton's first-ever hit at Target Field. It marked Arrieta's first outing without giving up a run since his first start of the year on April 8, and he threw a career-high 122 pitches.
"I got better as the game went on, and a little more comfortable and found a really good tempo and timing with my delivery," Arrieta said. "I was pretty crisp with everything." More >
Arrieta outlasted Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson, who gave up two runs on six hits over just five innings. Anthony Rizzo scored both runs, as he led off the third with a walk and scored on a sacrifice fly from Starlin Castro before connecting on a solo blast in the fifth.
The Cubs added six runs in the eighth after loading the bases against reliever Aaron Thompson with nobody out. Kyle Schwarber came through with a two-run single before Fowler crushed a grand slam off reliever Michael Tonkin to put the game out of reach for the Twins, who have lost nine of their last 13 games.
"Good pitching beats good hitting any day," Twins right fielder Torii Hunter said. "What [Arrieta] did today would shut anybody down. He was locked in. He had poise. He wasn't even laboring in the ninth. I was looking for him to take a deep breath, or take his hat off and wipe his head, but no."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Third-inning redemption: The Cubs left the bases loaded in the second inning, but they gave Arrieta all the runs he needed in the third when Rizzo walked and reached third on Miguel Montero's single before scoring on Castro's sacrifice fly. Rizzo then made it 2-0 with a leadoff homer in the fifth, his third of the series and 15th this year.
"The guy's got to be on the All-Star team -- let him play shortstop, I don't care," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of Rizzo. "I know there are other really good first basemen and it's probably the most loaded position there is, but what he's done is remarkable. I've not seen it in person." More >
Twins strand Buxton: Buxton reached on a fielding error from Arrieta in the third, and promptly swiped second for his first career stolen base. He went to third on the throw from Montero, as it skipped into center field. But Eddie Rosario flied out to center to leave Buxton at third. More >
Gibson escapes jam: The Cubs had the bases loaded with one out in the second, but Gibson was able to get out of the inning unscathed by getting Addison Russell to pop out and Fowler to ground out. But it was a long inning for Gibson, who threw 27 pitches and needed 102 to get through five frames.
"They just did a good job battling and took a lot of close pitches," Gibson said. "They were patient and made me work hard. I don't know how many games in my career where I had to throw 20 pitches in an inning. So they just did a good job battling."
"It just feels good. I went up there every day battling and trying to grind through at-bats to see how they're pitching me. I finally got my first hit." -- Buxton, on getting his first hit at Target Field in his third career home game
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
With his steal of second in the third inning, Buxton became the sixth-youngest Twins player to record a stolen base dating back to when the club moved to Minnesota in 1961. At 21 years and 185 days old, only Joe Mauer, Luis Rivas, Cristian Guzman, Butch Wynegar and Zoilo Versalles were younger when they picked up their first career stolen base.
Fowler's grand slam was the second of his career and first since Sept. 1, 2012, against the Padres. It also was the second slam by a Cubs player this season -- and in the last five games. Kris Bryant did so on Wednesday against the Indians.
SCHWARBER TO MINORS
Despite going 8-for-22 with six RBIs in six games, Schwarber is headed back to the Minor Leagues. The Cubs' prospect was promoted from Double-A to be the designated hitter in the Interleague games, knowing he was going to Triple-A when this stint was over. Schwarber did pick up his first Major League hit, home run and RBI quickly against the Indians, and he smacked a two-run single in the eighth against the Twins.
"I just tried to do my job, and that was going up there and putting up quality at-bats," Schwarber said. "I'm just having fun. It was a lot of fun, a lot of fun." More >
WHAT'S NEXT Cubs:Tsuyoshi Wada gets the start Monday night when the Cubs return home to face the Dodgers. The lefty is coming off his best outing of the season, in which he went seven innings against the Indians. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CT.
Twins: After playing seven straight Interleague games against the Cardinals and Cubs, the Twins host the division-rival White Sox for a three-game series that starts Monday at 7:10 p.m. CT. Left-hander Tommy Milone, who has a 2.37 ERA in three starts since rejoining the rotation in early June, makes the start for Minnesota.