- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 18, 2014

MIAMI (AP) - Jake Arrieta made it look easy, then made it sound easy.

The Chicago Cubs right-hander had a career-high 11 strikeouts in seven innings to beat the Miami Marlins 6-1 on Wednesday.

Arrieta (3-1) lowered his ERA to 1.98, and he has 55 strikeouts in 50 innings.

“I’m not doing anything different,” he said. “I’m just commanding everything down in the strike zone and trying to force early contact. Strikeouts are just a byproduct of throwing several plus pitches for strikes.”


Arrieta has become one of the few bright spots for the last-place Cubs, although they have been playing better lately. By taking the rubber game of the three-game set, they won consecutive road series for the first time since June 2013.

Chicago went 5-5 on a three-city swing.

“We had a nice trip,” manager Rick Renteria said. “That’s big. We’re playing some consistent baseball.”

Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton hit his NL-leading 20th homer in the first but left the game after six innings with a bruised left wrist. Stanton said the injury wasn’t serious, and he expected to be back in the lineup Thursday against the New York Mets.

But his wrist was swollen and bothered him more as the game progressed.

“It was getting tighter and tighter,” he said. “On swings and misses, it hurts a lot.”

Stanton hasn’t missed a game this season, and he leads the NL in homers and RBIs with 57. That’s why manager Mike Redmond took no chances with the injury.

“We need this guy for the long haul,” Redmond said. “He wanted to stay in, but I’m thinking about tomorrow and the next day.”

Stanton was hurt when he hit the wall in the first inning chasing a flyball.

Nate Schierholtz hit a three-run homer for the Cubs. Starlin Castro had two RBI doubles and single batting cleanup.

“I like batting fourth because there are usually runners on base,” Castro said. “I just like that they put me in a spot and leave me there. If they keep moving me around, it breaks my concentration.”

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