Jake Arrieta takes no-hit bid into 8th as Cubs blank Red Sox
BOSTON — Jake Arrieta certainly picked two of baseball’s most historic places to put on memorable performances.
Arrieta held the Red Sox hitless until Stephen Drew singled with two outs in the eighth inning, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Boston Red Sox 2-0 on Monday night in the opener of only the second series between the teams at Fenway Park since 1918.
Six days after losing a perfect game on a leadoff single in the seventh inning of his previous start at Wrigley Field against Cincinnati, Arrieta took his no-hit bid a little deeper at Fenway. He allowed only Mike Napoli’s fifth-inning walk before Drew lined a sharp single to right.
“It’s special to do it in this ballpark,” Arrieta said. “It was special to do it last week in Wrigley and to do it here in these two parks is pretty special.”
Starting the season on the disabled list with shoulder tightness, the 28-year old right-hander was pushing his pitch limit before Drew lined a 2-2 pitch.
Arrieta (5-1) was lifted by Cubs manager Rick Renteria immediately following the hit that came on his career-high 120th pitch.
The 28-year-old Arrieta was given a loud ovation before he even got to the foul line, tipping his cap to the Boston crowd. He tipped it again after crossing the line.
“Something like that in Fenway is pretty rare for an opposing team, so yeah I got some goosebumps there,” he said. “That’s why you play this game, for moments like that. I was very thankful to be a part of something like that.”
Arrieta fanned 10 in just his 11th start of the season.
“Awesome. That was some kind of awesome,” Renteria said of the ovation. “We were standing out there at the mound. That was some show of respect.”
Drew’s hit ensured the Red Sox wouldn’t be no-hit for the first time since Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio pitched a no-no against Boston in 1993 for Seattle.
Arrieta’s performance helped jog Bosio’s memory of his special night.
“Everything,” Bosio said when asked what he recalled from his no-hitter. “We had just come off a long road trip from Detroit and Toronto and I was real sick before the game. I had cut my warmup in half. I pretty much remember everything from the game. Every play, every at-bat right up until the last out.”
Hector Rondon allowed a pinch-hit single to A.J. Pierzynski leading off the ninth before finishing the two-hitter for his 10th save.
“Three above-average pitches with above average command,” Boston manager John Farrell said of Arrieta. “A lot of power to his fastball. Stayed out of the middle of the plate. He was outstanding.”
Nate Schierholtz hit a two-run homer for Chicago.
Jake Peavy (1-7) is winless in his last 12 starts. He gave up two runs on five hits, walking two and striking out seven in six innings.
In just the second regular season series at Fenway between the clubs since Boston won the 1918 World Series in six games, Arrieta mixed his pitches by combining a sharp cutter and curve with an above-average fastball.
“He located everything. He’s got great stuff,” Boston’s Dustin Pedroia said. “He kept every pitch out of the zone. I had three at-bats and I don’t think I got one good pitch to hit.”
The Red Sox, who arrived in Boston around 4 a.m. after a win Sunday night in New York against the Yankees, really didn’t have anything close to a hit before Drew’s brought up a roar from the crowd.
Arrieta fell behind Napoli 3-0 before getting a called strike. Napoli then fouled a pitch off before drawing a walk on the next pitch. Xander Bogaerts lined to left after Napoli’s walk.
Arrieta, who started the season on the disabled list with the shoulder tightness, made his first start of the season on May 3.
He’s been spectacular in June. Coming in, he allowed just four runs and 20 hits in 31 2/3 innings, winning his three previous starts.
The Cubs took a 2-0 lead in the fourth when Welington Castillo walked and Schierholtz followed with his homer into Boston’s bullpen.
Arrieta was acquired by the Cubs last July along with right-hander Pedro Strop from Baltimore for pitcher Scott Feldman, catcher Steve Clevenger and two international signing bonus slots.
The last time Boston was no-hit at home, Ted Williams flied out to right field for the final out of Detroit ace Jim Bunning’s gem on July 20, 1958 in the opener of a doubleheader.
*Photo courtesy of Jared Wickerham/Getty Images