Bryant's big fly more than enough for Arrieta

Bryant's big fly more than enough for Arrieta

SAN FRANCISCO -- Friday night's matchup of National League heavyweights became a tag-team affair dominated by the Chicago Cubs, as Jake Arrieta overpowered the San Francisco Giants and Kris Bryant delivered a telling uppercut.

The result was an 8-1 triumph for the Cubs, who halted the Giants' eight-game winning streak while improving their Major League-best record to 29-11. Chicago received a typical effort from Arrieta (8-0), who limited the Giants to one run and four hits in seven innings. A five-run, second-inning outburst, capped by Bryant's three-run homer, gave the right-hander ample support.

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The Cubs have now won 22 straight games in which Arrieta started, tied with Hall of Famers Whitey Ford and Carl Hubbell for the second-longest such streak. Kris Medlen tops the list, with 23 straight starts in which the Braves recorded a victory, from 2010-2012. Arrieta's personal winning streak is now at 19 decisions.

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Giants starter Jake Peavy (1-5) lasted 1 2/3 innings, matching the second-shortest start of his career. He also worked 1 2/3 innings July 6, 2010, against the Angels for the White Sox. His all-time briefest outing was a one-inning cameo June 2, 2009, against Philadelphia for San Diego.

Chicago's night was dampened by a right-side injury to Jason Heyward, who left the game in the bottom of the first inning after making a diving catch on Denard Span's deep fly to center and slamming into the outfield wall. Heyward said a lower rib-cage bone and his hip bone hit each other, though nothing was broken.

Heyward's fantastic diving catch

"The first hitter of the game, something like that, I'm at a loss for words," Arrieta said, referring to Heyward's diving catch of Span's drive to the deepest part of the field. "That's an amazing catch. What he's capable with the glove in the outfield, it's amazing. I think he'll be just fine. A little sore, but I hope he's back as soon as possible."

Helping his own cause: Arrieta punched a single into center field against a drawn-in infield moments after Javier Baez was ruled out at first, a call that would stand upon review after the Cubs challenged. Arrieta not only drove in the first run of the game but extended the inning to help set up the rally.

Arrieta's RBI single
La Stella's RBI single

That rally looked wobbly moments later when Tommy La Stella hit a drive off the right-field wall with the bases loaded and one out. Miguel Montero scored easily from third base, but second baseman Joe Panik's relay beat Arrieta home. He retreated toward third, which was occupied by Dexter Fowler, and became the inning's second out. Then Bryant's homer virtually sealed the outcome, given Arrieta's presence. The Cubs have won his last 22 starts dating back to last year.

A few feet higher: The Giants missed chances to make matters more interesting. Jorge Soler soared to the top of the left-field wall to snare Buster Posey's fourth-inning bid for extra bases with two on and two outs. In the seventh, Conor Gillaspie lined out to deep left with a man on.

"A couple of balls we hit could have changed the game," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

Soler's leaping catch

Soler's bright night: Soler went 2-for-4 with a home run but what excited Cubs manager Joe Maddon was everything else about his game.

"That's the way you run the bases," Maddon said. "And he made two really nice catches. I saw a Major League baseball player. It's that kind of plays that make him into a superstar."

Bullpen in business: After Peavy's departure, Giants relievers Derek Law, Albert Suarez and George Kontos no-hit the Cubs for five innings. The dominance ended in the eighth inning as Ben Zobrist and Soler homered back-to-back off Kontos, who made his first appearance since being activated from the disabled list Tuesday.

Cubs go back-to-back in the 8th

"Looking at Peavy's pitch count in the second inning, that's what we do. We make the starting pitcher work to get to the bullpen. We got a great approach from everybody." -- Bryant

Arrieta completed seven innings, and the Cubs became the third team in Major League history to have starters finish at least five innings in each of their first 40 games, joining last year's Mets and the 1981 Pirates.

Arrieta improves to 8-0

Cubs: Jon Lester takes the mound for Saturday's 6:15 p.m. CT game against the Giants. Lester has allowed one or fewer runs in six of his eight starts. Infielder Addison Russell is expected back in the starting lineup.

Giants: Right-hander Matt Cain will seek his third quality start in a row when he faces Chicago in Saturday's 4:15 p.m. PT rematch at AT&T Park. Cain yielded one run and seven hits in seven innings last Sunday at Arizona.

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Rick Eymer is a contributor to and covered the Cubs on Friday.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.