CHICAGO (AP) — Buster Posey and the San Francisco Giants capped a rough road trip with a difficult weekend in Chicago.
Posey had one of San Francisco’s seven hits in a 2-0 loss to Jake Arrieta and the Cubs on Sunday, closing out a four-game sweep. Jake Peavy struck out six in five innings, but he was the only starter for the Giants to record an out in the fifth in the series.
Chicago’s first four-game sweep of San Francisco since June 1977 ran its lead for the second NL wild card to 3 1/2 games over the reeling Giants.
“I think they simply outplayed us these four games,” Posey said. “We didn’t really make a lot of errors to beat ourselves, they just outplayed us these four games.”
Arrieta allowed four hits in 7 2-3 innings. He also tripled and scored in the second as the Cubs won for the 10th time in 11 games.
Arrieta is 7-1 with a 1.23 ERA in his last 10 starts dating to a four-hit shutout at Minnesota on June 21.
“He is cross-firing 95, 96 and then with an 88 mph slider, 91, 93 mph cutter, hard curveball. Probably some of the best stuff out there right now,” Posey said.
Justin Grimm got the final out of the eighth, and Hector Rondon worked out of a jam in the ninth while recording his 19th save in 22 chances.
“I feel like in the past at times we maybe let a game like that slip away, which from time to time over 162 that’s going to happen,” Arrieta said. “At this point in the season where we’re at, who’s in front of us, the games we have remaining, if you have the opportunity, you have to close those out.”
San Francisco loaded the bases in the ninth on two hits and a hit batter. But Rondon responded with three straight strikeouts, including Gregor Blanco on a called third strike to end the game.
While the crowd of 39,939 cheered wildly, Blanco had a few words with home plate umpire Jim Reynolds about the final pitch.
“It’s obvious in the ninth we had a golden opportunity and couldn’t quite get it done,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “It didn’t play out like we all thought it would, bases loaded and nobody out. Give him credit, he came out of it, but I thought he got a little help, though, that’s ball four. I kind of already looked at it. That was off the plate.”
Right after Chicago’s fourth straight win, a bomb threat prompted police to evacuate Wrigley Field. It was reopened about an hour later.
“After a thorough search by law enforcement, no evidence was found to suggest this threat was credible,” the Cubs said in a statement. “We take safety at Wrigley Field seriously and are working with law enforcement authorities to pursue the person who initiated this threat.”
Kris Bryant singled in a run in the first for the Cubs (62-48), who moved a season-high 14 games over .500.
Peavy (2-5) allowed four hits, struck out six and walked two. The Giants concluded a 10-game road trip with a 3-7 record.
“It’s never any fun to go through these things,” Bochy said. “We ran into a hot team. They needed a hit, they got it, they pitched well, they played well. We were off our game coming in here.”
Giants: LF Nori Aoki left in the third inning after getting drilled in the helmet by a 92 mph fastball from Arrieta. Aoki was tended to by a Giants trainer and walked off the field under his own power. He did not undergo a concussion test and will be re-evaluated on Monday. ... RHP Tim Hudson is eligible to be activated from the disabled list on Tuesday. The veteran has been out with a right shoulder strain. It’s uncertain if he will be joining the rotation or pitching out of the bullpen. “He threw a pen yesterday. He feels good,” Bochy said. “Tuesday we’ll decide what we’re going to do.”
Giants: After an off day on Monday, Madison Bumgarner (12-6) is scheduled to start on Tuesday against the Astros. Bumgarner is 3-1 in his career against the Astros with a 2.93 ERA.
Cubs: Dan Haren is scheduled to make his second start for the Cubs against the Brewers on Tuesday. He allowed four runs in five innings in his Cubs debut against Pittsburgh on Wednesday.
GET IN THE BOX
Peavy didn’t appreciate Kyle Schwarber taking his time getting in the batter’s box in the fifth inning. Peavy told the rookie to get in the box.
“That’s just what I said to him. I asked him to get in the box and not kick dirt around and listening to his intro song,” Peavy said.