D-backs stung by missed chance against Arrieta

After Cubs' ace escapes early jam, Arizona held to only 2 more hits in loss

D-backs stung by missed chance against Arrieta

CHICAGO -- It looked for a brief moment like the D-backs were going to get to Cubs starter Jake Arrieta in the first inning Saturday at Wrigley Field.

Arrieta, who was coming off a no-hitter in his last start against the Dodgers, found himself in a jam with runners on second and third and two outs with Jarrod Saltalamacchia strolling to the plate.

Saltalamacchia worked the count full before Arrieta struck him out swinging on a nasty slider. It would prove to be the best -- and really, the last -- chance the D-backs would have to break the game open as the Cubs cruised to a 2-0 win.

"There's a reason he wiggled out of it, though," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "He's got good stuff. Probably the most dominating guy we've faced all year. We knew before, going into it, looking at video, that his stuff is as good as anybody in the league this year. He's obviously on a good run after the no-hitter. He was very good and he's a horse. He went eight innings, 100-something pitches. Those are the guys you look for. Very impressive."

After the first inning, Arrieta would allow just two more hits while making it through eight innings.

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"He's got great stuff," D-backs outfielder A.J. Pollock said. "He's a great pitcher. Located a bunch of pitches. He's got three or four plus-pitches, and when he wasn't dominant and left it over the plate, we had some at-bats where we had some unfortunate outs. That's a pretty deadly combination."

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It was the second straight day the D-backs had gone up against an ace-caliber pitcher.

On Friday, it was Jon Lester who limited them to a pair of runs in five innings as the D-backs worked him hard to drive up his pitch count.

"They've got good pitching," Pollock said. "A team like this you've got to come to the ballpark ready to go every day. They make pitches throughout the whole game and not many mistakes. And Arrieta, when he makes a mistake, it's a 97-mph pitch with cut down the middle. It's a different mistake than [from] a different guy."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.