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Chicago (40-52) «002002001571

Ruggiano single in 9th lifts Cubs over Braves

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Jake Arrieta is doing his part to fill the gap left by Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel.

Arrieta pitched well into the eighth inning and Justin Ruggiano hit an RBI single with two outs in the ninth inning Friday that sent the Chicago Cubs over the Atlanta Braves 5-4.

Arrieta gave up three runs and four hits in 7 2-3 innings. He struck out six and walked three.

The right-hander is 4-0 with a 1.30 ERA in his last seven starts.

Arrieta said he has taken more of a leadership position after Samardzija and Hammel were traded to Oakland last week.

"I am pretty comfortable with the responsibilities that come along with a role like that. It's something I embrace and look forward to continue to be in this role, to help guys establish themselves and combat the struggles that take place at this level," he said.

"Hopefully, help guys start to take off and produce at a high level for us," he said.

Arrieta figures to be one of the few mainstays along with All-Stars Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro as the Cubs continue to rebuild within the system.

Arismendy Alcantara singled with two outs off Jordan Walden (0-1) in the Cubs ninth and stole second. Ruggiano then got a hit that slipped past shortstop Andrelton Simmons to win it.

"The future is bright. That is very apparent. Guys like Alcantara and we have guys in the pipeline that can definitely help us in the future," Arrieta said.

The Braves, who scored the tying run in the top of the ninth on Christian Bethancourt's two-out single, have lost five of six following a nine-game winning streak.

Jordan Schafer stole three bases for Atlanta and was caught stealing once.

"Schafer had a great day. He stole three bags, he got on base, played nice defense. And BJ (Upton) been doing nice in the leadoff spot. I'm happy with those guys at the top of the order. Now we need to keep the line moving, and we will," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

Arrieta left with a 4-3 lead but wound up with a no-decision when Cubs closer Hector Rondon (2-3) couldn't hold the lead in the ninth.

Rondon allowed a leadoff double to Jason Heyward in the ninth. After retiring the next two batters, Rondon gave up Bethancourt's single. It was Rondon's third blown save of the season.

The Cubs have won two straight after losing six in a row.

"We were probably a little down a little bit after losing those two guys. They were two big guys in the clubhouse. But we have a tight group and we all pull for each other. We will be all right," Ruggiano said.

Freddie Freeman drove in two runs for Atlanta.

Braves starter Alex Wood pitched 5 1/3 innings and allowed four runs on five hits and three walks. The 23-year-old left-hander struck out six.

"I battled through some stuff. I thought we battled hard and scraped for some runs. I thought we played pretty well," Wood said.

After retiring the first six batters, Wood gave up a leadoff double to Chris Coghlan in the third inning. Coghlan stole third and scored on Arrieta's perfectly executed squeeze. With two outs, Ruggiano's single drove in Mike Olt to make it 2-0.

Arrieta was unable to hold the lead. He walked Schafer in the fourth and gave up his first hit of the game, a double to Simmons. Freeman and Justin Upton had RBI grounders.

In the sixth, Wood reached on an infield single, his first hit in the majors, and moved up on Schafer's sacrifice bunt. With two outs, Freeman doubled off the ivy in center field for a 3-2 lead.

The Cubs loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth. Junior Lake struck out and broke the bat over his knee. Coghlan hit a tying single and Braves reliever Shae Simmons walked Luis Valbuena on four straight pitches to give the Cubs a 4-3 lead.

Notes

Cubs INF Emilio Bonifacio started his rehab assignment in Arizona. He's been on the DL with an oblique strain since June 13. ... Rizzo appreciated all the support he got in the push by the team that made him the final NL All-Star voted in by the fans. "Walked over to the offices, thanked all the front office and the people working behind the scenes to pump it up, to promote it. Very, very appreciative. My family's ecstatic. Come along way, altogether -- me, myself, everyone else around me that's coached me, that's helped me out through good times and bad times. It's an accomplishment I'll cherish forever," the first baseman said. ... Cubs 2B Darwin Barney was activated from the paternity list. The Cubs recalled Zac Rosscup from Triple-A Iowa and relievers Kyle Hendricks and Blake Parker were optioned to Iowa. ... Braves starter LHP Mike Minor is scheduled to make his second career start against the Cubs on Saturday. In his previous start, he gave up one run in 7 1/3 innings.

 
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Justin Ruggiano is mobbed by his teammates after his walk-off single lifts the Cubs over the Braves.  (USATSI)
Justin Ruggiano is mobbed by his teammates after his walk-off single lifts the Cubs over the Braves. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Chicago

C. Coghlan
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
Chicago

J. Arrieta
IP 7.2
H 4
ER 3
BB 3
K 6
 
Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jordan Schafer, CF1100200 .176
Andrelton Simmons, SS4110003 .262
Freddie Freeman, 1B3012110 .300
Justin Upton, LF4001013 .273
Jason Heyward, RF4120010 .250
Chris Johnson, 3B4000022 .270
Tommy La Stella, 2B4000002 .288
Christian Bethancourt, C4011011 .275
Alex Wood, P2110010 .056
   Shae Simmons, P0000000 .000
   a-Ryan Doumit, PH1000000 .204
   Anthony Varvaro, P0000000 .000
   b-Ramiro Pena, PH1000011 .204
   Jordan Walden, P0000000 .000
Totals3246438  
a-grounded out for S. Simmons in the 8th
b-struck out for Varvaro in the 9th
Batting
2B - Andrelton Simmons (10, Arrieta), Freddie Freeman (28, Arrieta), Jason Heyward 2 (15, Arrieta)
SH - Jordan Schafer (3)
RBI - Freddie Freeman 2 (52), Justin Upton (51), Christian Bethancourt (3)
2-OUT RBI - Freddie Freeman (19), Christian Bethancourt (3)
SB - Jordan Schafer 3 (14, 2nd base off Arrieta/Castillo)
CS - Jordan Schafer (1, 3rd base by Arrieta/Castillo)
Team LOB - 5
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Alex Wood 5.1544360 3.36
Shae Simmons 1.2000130 0.96
Anthony Varvaro 1000000 2.43
Jordan Walden (L,0-1) 0.2211000 2.73
HBP - Castillo (by Alex Wood)
Pitches-Strikes - Alex Wood 93-53, Shae Simmons 23-14, Anthony Varvaro 12-7, Jordan Walden 14-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Alex Wood 4-6, Shae Simmons 1-1, Anthony Varvaro 2-1, Jordan Walden 1-1
Batters Faced - Alex Wood 25, Shae Simmons 6, Anthony Varvaro 3, Jordan Walden 4
Chicago (N.L.) Cubs
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Arismendy Alcantara, 2B4110114 .385
Justin Ruggiano, RF5022012 .286
Anthony Rizzo, 1B4110011 .277
Starlin Castro, SS4110020 .280
Welington Castillo, C3000010 .230
Junior Lake, CF4000023 .217
Chris Coghlan, LF3121100 .261
Mike Olt, 3B1100101 .148
   a-Luis Valbuena, PH-3B1001100 .250
Jake Arrieta, P1001013 .158
   Neil Ramirez, P0000000 .000
   Hector Rondon, P0000000 .000
   b-Ryan Sweeney, PH1000000 .223
Totals3157549  
a-walked for Olt in the 6th
b-flied out for Rondon in the 9th
Batting
2B - Anthony Rizzo (15, Wood), Chris Coghlan (9, Wood)
SH - Jake Arrieta 2 (4)
RBI - Justin Ruggiano 2 (19), Chris Coghlan (11), Luis Valbuena (25), Jake Arrieta (1)
2-OUT RBI - Justin Ruggiano 2 (9)
SB - Arismendy Alcantara (1, 2nd base off Walden/Bethancourt), Chris Coghlan (4, 3rd base off Wood/Bethancourt)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
E - Anthony Rizzo (8, Misplayed grounder)
Chicago (N.L.) Cubs
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jake Arrieta 7.2433360 1.95
Neil Ramirez (H,9) 0.1000010 1.08
Hector Rondon (W,2-3; BS,3) 1211010 3.93
IBB - Freeman by Jake Arrieta
Pitches-Strikes - Jake Arrieta 98-61, Neil Ramirez 6-3, Hector Rondon 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jake Arrieta 12-5, Hector Rondon 1-1
Batters Faced - Jake Arrieta 30, Neil Ramirez 1, Hector Rondon 5
Game Information
Attendance - 39544
Game Time - 3:01
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Brian O'Nora, First Base - Pat Hoberg, Second Base - Jeff Kellogg, Third Base - Dan Bellino