CHICAGO -- Jake Arrieta made history with his 20th win of the season, but third baseman Kris Bryant jumped into his spotlight with his record-breaking home run in a 4-0 victory over the Brewers on Tuesday night. The win leaves Chicago two games behind Pittsburgh in the hunt for the National League's top Wild Card spot but improves its magic number to make the postseason to three.
It's the third shutout and fourth complete game of the season for Arrieta, who became the first Cubs pitcher since Kerry Wood in 2003 to throw four complete games and the first since Greg Maddux in 1992 to toss three shutouts.
"It just means that I'm putting my team in position to win ballgames," Arrieta said. "At the end of the day, that's our goal, to try and pile on as many as we can, especially where we are at in the season. Wins now, at this time, are more important than ever. I'm just happy about getting one for the team and keeping the momentum going into tomorrow."
Milwaukee couldn't provide any run support for starter Tyler Cravy, who tossed four innings and allowed just two runs, on Bryant's 26th home run of the season. With the homer, Bryant broke Billy Williams' club rookie record for the most in a single season, set in 1961, and he also holds the rookie record for RBIs (98) in a season.
"I was joking around with [Jake] after the game here, and I told him he always has to outdo me," Bryant said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Bryant's blast: Bryant's 26th home run wasn't notable just because he eclipsed Williams' record. It also gave him the home-run lead among all Major League rookies, as he passed the Dodgers' Joc Pederson. Bryant now leads all rookies in runs, RBIs, doubles and home runs, and the crowd demanded a curtain call for his effort. He is second in hits and walks as well. He added to his day with an RBI double in the bottom of the eighth inning to score left fielder Kyle Schwarber.
"That was a special moment for me, to get up on the steps and get that recognition," Bryant said. "It was something I'll never forget." More >
Gift double: Schwarber was credited with a double and an RBI, but the high, lazy fly ball he hit to medium right-center in the fifth inning should have been caught. With the center fielder Logan Schafer and right fielder Domingo Santana positioned deep, shortstop Jean Segura took charge, but the ball hit off his glove and fell in, allowing Dexter Fowler (running all the way with two out) to score from first base.
"The way I saw it, both outfielders kind of broke back," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "[Segura] was pretty far out. He's going a long way, and it's a ball you expect the outfielder to call you off on, and you don't hear it."
Major League debut: Yadiel Rivera was the first of the six players the Brewers called up from Double-A Biloxi on Tuesday to get into the game. Rivera made his Major League debut when he entered on a double switch in the fifth inning, playing third base. He grounded out to third base in the sixth in his first at-bat and grounded into a fielder's choice (also to third) in the eighth.
"The thing that Jake has done, like you saw today, is just the total domination of the other team. He [never] even permits the other team to come back on us when we're not scoring a lot of runs. It's just incredible what he's done in this second half. It's Bob Gibson-esque, which for me was my favorite pitcher of all time. I know this, 20 years [from now], when he comes back to the reunion of the 2015 team and he stands out on that line, and Arrieta was a 20-game winner, it means something." --Cubs manager Joe Maddon, on the meaning of Arrieta winning 20 games
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By lowering his ERA to 1.87 on the season, Arrieta remains in line to become the first Cubs pitcher with an ERA under 2.00 since Pete Alexander in 1920.
WHAT'S NEXT Brewers: Right-hander Zach Davies, acquired from the Orioles at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, will make his fifth start for the Brewers in the finale of the three-game series against the Cubs. He allowed three runs on five hits last Friday against the Reds but took the loss despite the quality start. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. CT.
Cubs:Kyle Hendricks takes the mound as Chicago concludes the three-game series against Milwaukee on Wednesday. He's coming off his shortest start of the season, but he is 3-0 with a 1.07 ERA in four starts against the Brewers this season. First pitch from Wrigley Field is slated for 7:05 p.m. CT.