LOS ANGELES—Jake Arrieta pitched the sixth no-hitter in the majors this season and second against the Los Angeles Dodgers in 10 days, leading the Chicago Cubs to a 2-0 victory last night.
Arrieta (17-6) struck out a season-high 12 and became the first 17-game winner in the big leagues by throwing baseball’s third no-hitter in less than three weeks.
Astros right-hander Mike Fiers blanked the NL West-leading Dodgers 3-0 on Aug. 21. Never before had Los Angeles been no-hit twice in one season.
Arrieta got the benefit of a close call for the official scorer in the third inning, when Kike Hernandez reached on a fielding error by second baseman Starlin Castro.
Hernandez hit a one-hopper at Castro, who tried to play it on the short hop. The ball bounced off him and rolled away, allowing Hernandez to reach first.
The play was ruled an error but probably could have gone either way.
“I thought it was a hit,” Arrieta said. “Tough play. Hernandez hit it well. Tough short hop for Castro. They scored it an error, thankfully so, and I was able to finish it off.”
Hernandez was sacrificed to second before Arrieta struck out Jimmy Rollins to end the inning.
Carl Crawford nearly broke up the no-hit bid with two outs in the seventh, but Castro caught Crawford’s line drive up the middle with a running grab.
“Lights-out defence,” Arrieta said.
With the Dodger Stadium crowd roaring, Arrieta struck out all three batters in the ninth: Justin Turner, Rollins and Chase Utley. Those were the same three hitters—in a different order—that Fiers retired to finish off his gem.
With his 116th pitch, Arrieta fanned Utley on a breaking ball to end it.
The 29-year-old pitcher was mobbed by teammates near the mound, and they jumped their way in a huddle over to near the Cubs’ dugout where they high-fived Arrieta.
He became the first Cubs pitcher to throw a no-hitter since Carlos Zambrano on Sept. 14, 2008, against Houston in a game that was moved to Miller Park in Milwaukee because of Hurricane Ike.
Arrieta walked one and helped the Cubs snap a four-game skid on the last night of their six-game West Coast trip. He finished August with a 6-0 record, tying Boston’s Joe Kelly as the only pitchers with that many wins in the month.
Elsewhere in the National League yesterday, the Rockies beat the Pirates 5-0; the Padres defeated the Phillies 9-4; the Cardinals tripped up the Giants 7-5; the Nationals reeled in the Marlins 7-4; and the Brewers soaked the Reds 4-1.