Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta delivers against the Toronto Blue Jays in the fourth inning at Wrigley Field on Friday. Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/UPI | License Photo
CHICAGO -- Jake Arrieta allowed a first-inning run and two hits and then scattered four hits the rest of his time on the mound to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 7-4 interleague victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday.
Arrieta (13-8) worked 6 1/3 innings en route to his third straight win and seventh consecutive quality start as the Cubs (64-57) maintained their perch atop the National League Central.
Toronto starter J.A. Happ (6-9) took the loss and had a three-game winning streak snapped as the Blue Jays (59-63) saw a two-game winning streak come to an end.
Cubs closer Wade Davis worked a one-two-three ninth to earn his 25th save.
Chicago shortstop Javier Baez (2-for-4) clubbed a two-run homer -- his 20th -- in the eighth inning while rookie catcher Victor Caratini went 3-for-3, walked and scored a run to lead the Cubs. Albert Almora Jr. and Anthony Rizzo each also had two hits in Chicago's 13-hit attack.
Toronto jumped to a short-lived 1-0 lead in the first as Steve Pearce singled to right-center and drove in Justin Smoak with two out.
Chicago replied with three runs in the second. Leadoff batter Ben Zobrist walked, reached third on Caratini's double and came home on a Jason Heyward single. Baez drove in Caratini with a base hit and Almora singled to shallow right to bring in Heyward.
The Cubs touched up Happ for two more runs in the fifth as Rizzo's double to left-center brought home Almora and Kris Bryant.
Happ lasted five innings before departing for left-handed reliever Aaron Loup. Happ gave up five runs on nine hits, walked two and struck out eight while throwing 103 pitches.
Arrieta left in the seventh after throwing 93 pitches and 61 for strikes. Right-handed reliever Carl Edwards Jr. inherited runners on first and second with one out.
He got pinch hitter Kendrys Morales to ground into a fielder's choice to first and Rizzo fired home to catcher Victor Caratini to catch Kevin Pillar trying to score from third. Edwards closed the frame by striking out Jose Bautista.
Arrieta allowed one run on six hits, walked two and struck out six.
The Blue Jays hit Cubs reliever Pedro Strop for three eighth-inning runs, including a two-run single by Ryan Goins that scored Montero and Pillar and make it a one-run game.
Chicago replied with a one-out, two-run homer by Baez off reliever Tim Mayza in the bottom of the inning for a 7-4 lead.
NOTES -- The Blue Jays send RHP Nick Tepesch (1-2, 5.25 ERA) against Cubs LHP Jose Quintana (3-2, 3.86 ERA) in Saturday's game. ... The Cubs placed LHP Jon Lester (left lat tightness/general shoulder fatigue) and RHP Justin Grimm (finger infection) on the 10-day disabled list on Friday. They called up RHP Felix Pena and LHP Rob Zastryzny from Triple-A Iowa). ... With two solo homers on Thursday, Cubs rookie Ian Happ became only the second Cubs player since at least 1913 with three multi-homer games in his first 78 career games.