CINCINNATI—Jake Arrieta of the Chicago Cubs pitched his second no-hitter in a span of 11 regular-season starts—shutting down the Cincinnati Reds in a 16-0 rout last night.
The reigning NL Cy Young winner threw the first no-hitter of the season.
Arrieta (4-0) struck out six, walked four, and allowed only six balls hit out of the infield.
He threw 119 pitches, retiring Eugenio Suarez on a routine flyball to right field to end it.
Arrieta also no-hit the L.A. Dodgers 2-0 last Aug. 30—part of one of the best pitching stretches in club history.
The Reds hadn’t been held hitless in a regular-season game since 1971, when Rick Wise did it for Philadelphia at Riverfront Stadium.
In the 2010 NL playoffs, Roy Halladay of the Phillies pitched a no-hitter against Cincinnati.
Arrieta is the first Cubs’ pitcher to win his first four starts in a season since Greg Maddux went 5-0 back in 2006.
Ken Holtzman is the only other Cubs’ pitcher to throw more than one no-hitter in the modern era, doing it in 1969 and 1971.
Kris Bryant homered twice, including a grand slam, and drove in six runs.
Arrieta contributed a pair of singles and a walk as the Cubs pulled away.
The 16-run margin approached the most-lopsided victory in major-league history.
In 1884, Pud Galvin and Buffalo beat the Detroit Wolverines 18-0, STATS said.
By Arrieta’s standards, it was a bit of a struggle. He walked three batters—he’d allowed only two walks in his first three starts combined—and needed 85 pitches to get through six innings.
That’s when he dug in and made quick work of the Reds’ lineup.
The thousands of Cubs’ fans in the crowd of 16,497 were on their feet cheering as Arrieta walked Scott Schebler to open the ninth, then got pinch-hitter Tucker Barnhart on a pop-up, Zack Cozart on a fly to centre, and Suarez on a fly to Jason Heyward.
Arrieta and catcher David Ross embraced halfway between home plate and the mound as the rest of the Cubs circled around him.
The offence made the outcome a moot point while extending the Cubs’ best start since 1970.
Bryant hit a two-run shot in the first off Brandon Finnegan (1-1), then his third career grand slam in the seventh off Drew Hayes made it 13-0.
Ben Zobrist and David Ross added solo shots while Anthony Rizzo had a three-run homer.
As the Cubs made it a romp, there was only one question left: how far could Arrieta go?
He gave himself a chance by getting through the seventh and eighth innings on only 18 pitches, bearing down against an overmatched lineup.
The Cubs are off to their best start since they also went 12-4 in 1970.
Elsewhere in the NL, Miami beat Washington 5-1, L.A. nipped Atlanta 2-1 (10 innings), Arizona downed San Francisco 6-2, and Pittsburgh dumped San Diego 11-1.