CHICAGO — Jake Arrieta tried to tamper his pregame butterflies.
Making his big league season debut following shoulder stiffness, Arrieta struck out seven in 5 1-3 shutout innings Saturday as the Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-0 for their first three-game winning streak this season.
Arrieta said pitching at Wrigley Field has become a special experience for him dating to his Cubs debut last season, also was against the Cardinals.
Arrieta walked two and threw 82 pitches. The Cardinals put five runners on base through the first three innings.
“Command of my sinker down in the zone was working really good, establishing the curveball early in the game,” he said. “The more you do that with secondary stuff, the less they can eliminate certain pitches later in the game. That’s kind of what we had going for us.”
Chicago’s bullpen combined for three-hit relief, finishing a seven-hitter. Brian Schlitter (1-0) got two outs for the win, and Hector Rondon worked around a pair of leadoff singles in the ninth for his third save.
Junior Lake and Anthony Rizzo homered for the Cubs, who hadn’t won three straight a series sweep at San Francisco last July 26-28.
A day after the Cubs defeated Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha (2-3) allowed two runs, five hits and three walks in six innings.
Lake hit a two-run homer in the sixth for a 2-0 lead. He also doubled on a 3-for-3 afternoon.
“It’s just frustrating, really,” Wacha said. “I served one up there, and they go up two runs. You just can’t afford that in that situation.”
Rizzo led off the eighth with sixth home run, and third in three games. He connected on the first pitch he saw from Randy Choate.
“We know we’re a good team,” Rizzo said. “It’s just about getting the wins. Today we got the win. The last few days we’ve gotten a win. It’s just about staying with it, keep battling.”