- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 5, 2016

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - The only other time the Angels began a season with a shutout loss, they ended up winning their lone World Series championship several months later.

At least Los Angeles has something to grasp while it regroups from an opening day thrashing.

Jake Arrieta yielded two hits over seven dominant innings, Miguel Montero homered and drove in three runs, and the Chicago Cubs began a season of high expectations with a 9-0 victory over the Angels on Monday night.

The Angels managed just three hits while getting shut out on opening day for the first time since 2002. They had never lost an opener by more than seven runs until the Cubs turned a rout into a blowout with Villanova product Matt Szczur’s three-run double in the ninth.

“We’ve just got to turn the page,” said Mike Trout, who went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts in his fourth opening day start. “It’s a long season. You can’t put your head down for one game.”

Arrieta (1-0) returned from his 22-victory Cy Young Award season with another gem. In his first opening day start since 2012, the right-hander gave up two singles and a walk, never allowing the overmatched Angels to reach second base.

“He’s one of the best in the league, and it was tough for us because we haven’t seen him,” Trout said. “We were just trying to see what he’s got. He was just painting and hitting his spots.”

Garrett Richards (0-1) gave up three runs in five innings of six-hit ball in his first opening day start for Los Angeles, but the results didn’t shake the right-hander.

“I was pretty even-keeled,” said Richards, who had to throw 41 pitches in the fourth inning. “I treated it like it was just Game 1 of 162, which is exactly what it is. It’s an honor to pitch on Day One, and now that this one is out of the way, now everything just becomes a regular baseball season.”

Albert Pujols was 0 for 3 in his first opening day as a designated hitter.

Kole Calhoun’s second-inning single was the Angels’ only hit until Daniel Nava’s seventh-inning single in his Los Angeles debut.

Anthony Rizzo and Jorge Soler drove in early runs for the Cubs, who couldn’t wait to get going again after an exciting 97-win season ended with a dismal four-game loss to the Mets in the NL Championship Series last fall.

“We’ve prepared for this for a long time,” said Arrieta, who has a 29-inning scoreless streak stretching to last season. “The last game we played was in the NLCS. We were ready for this moment. Guys came into camp ready, with a game plan. Everybody executed appropriately.”

Chicago’s anguished fans believe this team really might end the franchise’s 108-year championship drought this season, and they packed the seats in Orange County to herald an auspicious start to the quest.

“We travel well,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “It’s exciting to see everybody out there. It’s the Cubs, man. It’s pretty cool.”

NEW GUYS

Andrelton Simmons went 0 for 3 in his Angels debut, although the gifted shortstop made a slick fielding play to limit the Cubs to one run in the seventh. Yunel Escobar went 0 for 4 and made an error in his debut at third.

RETURNING ANGELS

Garret Anderson, the Angels’ franchise leader in hits and RBIs, threw out the first pitch to his son. Anderson then went to the Cubs’ dugout to embrace Maddon, the Angels’ longtime bench coach, and former Angels teammate John Lackey. Rod Carew, the Twins’ and Angels’ 70-year-old Hall of Famer, also attended the game.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Angels: RHP Jered Weaver’s streak of six straight opening day starts since 2009 ended. He will throw a simulated game in Anaheim on Tuesday to make sure he’s ready to return from a neck injury that slowed him in the spring. If all goes well, Weaver might start the homestand finale Sunday.

UP NEXT

Cubs: Jon Lester begins his second season with Chicago after setting the franchise record for a left-hander with 207 strikeouts.

Angels: Left-hander Andrew Heaney is on a big league roster on opening day for the first time, and he’ll face the Cubs for the first time.


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