Cubs tack on late in Game 1 to reward Arrieta

Cubs tack on late in Game 1 to reward Arrieta

CHICAGO -- Anthony Rizzo belted a two-run homer, his 16th, and Chris Denorfia drove in three runs on a pair of hits to back Jake Arrieta and lead the Cubs to a 7-4 victory over the Cardinals on Tuesday afternoon in the opener of a day-night doubleheader.

Arrieta cruised on an unseasonably cool day. The game-time temperature was 60 degrees, and the 20-plus-mph north wind made it feel even colder for the fans sitting in the shade at Wrigley Field among the crowd of 34,368. Arrieta scattered seven hits and struck out four over 6 2/3 innings and has now has given up just four earned runs over 30 2/3 innings across his last four starts.

Maddon on Arrieta's outing, win

"He's a strike thrower," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of Arrieta. "His stuff is in that elite category of stuff. ... He's an elite pitcher."

Lefty Tyler Lyons took the loss, his first in six starts this season, although he was backed by some great defensive plays, including a tumbling catch by second baseman Kolten Wong in shallow right to rob Miguel Montero of a potential hit in the fifth. Wong was slow to get up after the catch, however, and he had to leave the game with a head contusion that he sustained on the play.

Wong's acrobatic play

The Cardinals put Wong through a battery of concussion tests, which the second baseman said he passed. 

"I hit right on the side of my head and landed right on my face," Wong said. "It threw me back a little bit. I was a little dizzy. … As the game progressed, my headache got worse and worse, so they brought me in. I did all the tests and passed with flying colors."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Left bank: Rizzo, named a National League All-Star reserve on Monday for the second time in as many years, entered the game batting .333 against left-handed pitchers, and he had no problems with the Cardinals' southpaws. Rizzo singled and drew two walks against Lyons, then crushed an opposite-field homer off lefty Randy Choate in the eighth to put the Cubs ahead, 6-2. It was Rizzo's second homer off a left-hander this season.

Rizzo's two-run homer

"We have to use Choate against Rizzo right there," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said, explaining his decision to have Choate face a pair of switch-hitters and then Rizzo, who entered 3-for-11 against the lefty specialist. "We tried to turn a couple guys around, even though [Dexter] Fowler, especially, has had some success against left-handed pitching. Choate can get right-handers out. ... We have to go outside the box a little bit."

The homer surprised Maddon, considering the conditions at Wrigley.

"I didn't think anybody would hit a home run today, period," Maddon said.

Workmanlike: After making Arrieta throw just 72 pitches over the first six innings, the Cardinals' offense put him to work in the seventh. A leadoff walk and two-out RBI hits by Peter Bourjos and Xavier Scruggs pulled St. Louis to within one run. The Cards knocked Arrieta out when Tony Cruz tallied the team's third straight hit, but Matt Carpenter left two stranded with an inning-ending strikeout against James Russell. That was a key moment in the game.

Bourjos' RBI double

"I just think that Jake was not being 'Jake-esque' at that moment," Maddon said about why he made the switch. More >

Finding a way: The Cubs stranded a runner on second in the first inning and left two on in the second. In the third, Fowler was on third and Rizzo on second with one out when Jorge Soler bounced a ball to third baseman Mark Reynolds, who threw home to get Fowler. Rizzo and Soler then moved up on a wild pitch by Lyons, and both scored on Denorfia's single to center. Fowler added a RBI double in the eighth. The Cubs have scored three or more runs in three of their last 14 games.

Denorfia's two-run single

"I got him down two strikes and made some great pitches that he fouled off," Lyons said of Denorfia. "I left a slider in there a little bit, 1-2, which wasn't what I wanted to do. He hit it -- credit to him." More >

Walk this way: Unable to crack the Majors in eight seasons with the Cubs organization, Cardinals reliever Marcus Hatley made his second big league appearance when he relieved Lyons in the sixth. Hatley walked Kris Bryant to load the bases and then gave the Cubs an insurance run with a free pass to Soler. Cards pitchers walked eight batters on the day.

Soler's bases-loaded walk

QUOTABLE
"With all due respect, I do feel we can play with anybody; I really do. We have to prove it, though. We can talk about it. Talk is very cheap. It's about your actions. For me, and for us, I feel strongly about our group, but we've got to prove it." -- Maddon

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
This was the Cubs' first doubleheader since they split two games against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium last Aug. 30. Tuesday's day game was a makeup of an April 7 contest that was postponed because of rain.

WHAT'S NEXT
Cardinals: After sending Tim Cooney to the mound in the second game of Tuesday's doubleheader, the Cards will end this trip to Chicago with Michael Wacha's start in Wednesday's series finale. Wacha, who was named a National League All-Star on Monday for the first time in his career, is seeking to become the NL's second 11-game winner.

Cubs: After wrapping up Tuesday's day-night doubleheader with Dallas Beeler, the Cubs will close their four-game set against the Cardinals on Wednesday by handing Jason Hammel his last start before the All-Star break. Hammel did not get a decision against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium on June 26, giving up three hits over seven innings. He's 1-1 in three starts against St. Louis. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CT.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.