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Arrieta shines against former team as Cubs beat O's
Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Javier Baez and Luis Valbuena homered to back seven solid innings from Jake Arrieta as the Chicago Cubs beat the AL East-leading Baltimore Orioles, 4-1, in the opener of a three-game series.
Arrieta (7-4), who took a perfect game into the fifth, gave up one run on four hits against his former team. The right-hander is in his first full season with the Cubs after being acquired from Baltimore last July with pitcher Pedro Strop and two international signing bonus slots for pitcher Scott Feldman and catcher Steve Clevenger.
"It was nice to face those guys," said Arrieta. "It's good to see a lot of them again -- it's been a while."
Nelson Cruz hit his major league-leading 34th homer of the season for the Orioles, who had a four-game winning streak snapped.
Baltimore starter Kevin Gausman (7-5) allowed three runs on six hits while striking out seven over five innings.
The Cubs took a 2-0 lead in the fourth. Valbuena got things started with a solo homer to right-center field. Ryan Sweeney hit a two-out double to left and raced home on Logan Watkins' single to right-center field.
Baltimore finally got a hit off Arrieta in the fifth. With one out, Chris Davis singled to right-center field. J.J. Hardy followed with a walk. After Jonathan Schoop popped out, Caleb Joseph singled to right. Davis was thrown out at the plate on the play.
Baez's solo homer in the bottom half made it 3-0 Chicago.
Cruz hit a solo homer in the seventh to put the Orioles on the board. But Chris Valaika scored on Arismendy Alcantara's infield single in the home half.
Pedro Strop tossed a scoreless eighth and Hector Rondon pitched a perfect ninth to pick up his 20th save.
"You've got to tip your hat to them. They played really good defense," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter. "You take those four, five or six the other way, it may be a different situation. But you kind of know what it feels like on the other side because we've been able to play some pretty good defense along the way."
Cruz set a new career high in homers ... In the second game of the series on Saturday afternoon, Baltimore's Bud Norris faces Kyle Hendricks.
08/22 19:59:02 ET