The Chicago Cubs didn’t have batting practice on Saturday, an afternoon game with temperatures in the mid-90s, in the aftermath of a night game. It didn’t really matter.
The refreshed Cubs smashed four home runs and pitcher Jake Arrieta claimed his 10th victory in an 8-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves.
“Batting practice is the most overrated component in major league baseball,” Chicago manager Joe Maddon said. “It gets people tired and creates bad habits.”
Jason Heyward, Anthony Rizzo, Miguel Montero and Kris Bryant hit home runs. That fell one shy of matching the team’s high for the season but ensured the Cubs’ 13th win in the last 17 games.
Arrieta (10-1) threw 105 pitches and went seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits, with two walks and three strikeouts. Arrieta also had two hits and scored a run.
Arrieta’s 10th victory matches Washington’s Stephen Strasburg for the league lead. Arrieta didn’t win his 10th game last year until July 12.
“Arrieta pitched really well,” Maddon said. “And how about his offense, too. Day game, it’s hot, he runs the bases and gets them out one-two-three in the next inning. Talk about being in shape.”
Travis Wood worked a scoreless eighth inning and Trevor Cahill pitched a scoreless ninth inning to close the game.
Atlanta starter Matt Wisler (2-7) lost his fourth straight decision and was roughed up for the second game in a row. Wisler pitched only four innings for the second consecutive start and allowed five runs on seven hits, with three home runs.
“I’ve got to find a way to keep the ball in the ballpark,” Wisler said. “I’ve got to find a way to get in the zone and execute my breaking pitches.”
The Cubs scored in the first inning when Heyward, a former Brave, hit a long solo homer, his fourth, into the seats in right field. It was his first career homer against the Braves.
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