Gonzalez ejected, Braves pounded 7-1 by Cubs
CHICAGO (AP) — Once manager Fredi Gonzalez got ejected, it did not take long for the Atlanta Braves to take another loss.
Jake Arrieta pitched six scoreless innings for his major league-leading 15th win, and Anthony Rizzo and Addison Russell homered to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 7-1 victory over the Braves on Thursday night.
Gonzalez got tossed for arguing balls and strikes during a four-run third. All the scoring in that inning came in a span of two pitches right after he got booted.
“I see (Mike Foltynewicz) out there getting after it, and I see a couple of times where he gets a little frustrated with his body language and I just said a few things in the dugout,” Gonzalez said. “It wasn’t anything crazy, but you can’t argue balls and strikes so I got to watch the rest of the game on TV.”
The ejection — his first this season — came with runners on first and second and one out.
Chris Coghlan had a 2-0 count when plate umpire Doug Eddings raised his hand twice toward the Atlanta dugout. Gonzalez came out to argue and kicked dirt on the plate.
Coghlan then singled in the game’s first run. Rizzo made it 4-0 when he drove the next pitch just inside the right-field foul pole for his 24th homer.
Atlanta lost for the 19th time in 27 games and remained tied for the major league lead with 44 road losses.
Foltynewicz (4-5) gave up a career-high seven runs and eight hits over 4 2-3 innings.
“If you don’t look at the numbers, I think I threw the ball OK,” he said. “I think it was one of the better games I’ve had command of my fastball on.”
The Cubs snapped a three-game losing streak after winning nine straight and 15 of 16, with Arrieta (15-6) dominating on the mound and Rizzo and Russell supplying the power at the plate.
Russell singled and scored in the third and added a solo homer in the fourth to make it 5-0. Coghlan contributed an RBI single and a run-scoring triple and scored twice.
The Cubs got back to winning after they gave up a combined 25 runs and 40 hits in a two-game sweep by Detroit. With Pittsburgh beating San Francisco on Thursday, Chicago trails the Pirates by four games for the top wild card and leads the Giants by four games for the second spot.
Arrieta improved to 9-1 in his past 12 starts. The right-hander gave up four hits, struck out seven and walked one while lowering his ERA to 2.30. Arrieta threw 107 pitches, and with the lopsided score not to mention an eye toward the postseason, manager Joe Maddon decided not to leave him in a little longer.
“I want him to be well for that moment,” Maddon said. “Regardless of how they feel right now, you’ve got to make those decisions.”
Atlanta has dropped 19 of 21 road games.
Braves: 3B prospect Hector Olivera (left hamstring), currently at Triple-A Gwinnett, could join the Braves as early as Monday, Gonzalez said. Olivera, acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers last month, is expected to be the everyday third baseman once he makes his major league debut.
Cubs: 3B Kris Bryant left the game in the sixth. The Cubs said he was not injured.
Braves: RHP Shelby Miller (5-9, 2.43 ERA) looks to snap a 16-start winless streak. He is 0-8 despite a 3.03 ERA in that stretch.
Cubs: RHP Kyle Hendricks (6-5, 3.97) looks to rebound from his shortest outing of the season after going 3 1-3 innings against the White Sox last week.