Jake Arrieta held the Red Sox hitless until Stephen Drew singled with two outs in the eighth inning, and the Chicago Cubs beat Boston 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. He allowed only Mike Napoli’s fifth-inning walk before Drew lined a clean single to right.
Arrieta (5-1) was lifted by Cubs manager Rick Renteria immediately following the hit that came on the right-hander’s 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.
Arrieta (5-1) fanned 10 in just his 11th start after opening the season on the disabled list with shoulder tightness.
Hector Rondon allowed a pinch-hit single to A.J. Pierzynski leading off the ninth before finishing the two-hitter for his 10th save.
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.
The Red Sox, who arrived in Boston around 4 a.m. after win Sunday night in New York against the Yankees, really didn’t have anything close to a hit.
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 Naploi’s walk.
Arrieta, who started the season on the disabled list with 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.
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.
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.
NOTES: Carlos Zambrano pitched the Cubs last no-hitter, in 2008. … Cubs senior vice president of scouting and player development Jason McLeod told reporters on the field before the game that he withdrew his name from consideration for the San Diego GM job. “Certainly being a GM is really something I hope to do sometime in the future,” he said. “But right now, I felt this is where I want to be.” Chicago GM Jed Hoyer was pleased and surprised McLeod turned down the opportunity to interview for his hometown team. “Theo (Epstein) and I would have been thrilled had he gotten the job,” Hoyer said. “In this business, there are only 30 of these jobs. You want him to have that opportunity. But it means a lot to us, personally, that he wanted to stay here, and professionally, as well. Jason loves what he’s doing here.” … Boston rookie Mookie Betts played center field after making his major-league debut in right at Yankee Stadium on Sunday night. CF Jackie Bradley Jr. was rested. “There’s going to be a little rotation of guys in four positions,” manager John Farrell said.