CHICAGO — Last season, Baltimore traded Jake Arrieta to the Chicago Cubs.
On Friday, the Orioles got to see firsthand how nicely the right-hander has developed in the National League.
Arrieta (7-4) stifled his former team, striking out five and holding the Orioles to four hits over seven innings as Baltimore fell to the Cubs 4-1.
The loss snapped Baltimore’s four-game winning streak.
“Jake (Arrieta) was good today,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “He’s in a good spot, we got quality in return and that’s the way things worked out.”
The Orioles traded Arrieta and reliever Pedro Strop to Chicago in exchange for catcher Steve Clevenger and right-hander Scott Feldman. Clevenger was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk in July, and Feldman signed a multi-year deal with the Houston Astros following the 2013 season.
“There was a little more to it, being your former team,” Arrieta said. “After the first inning, it was just kind of business as usual.”
Nelson Cruz supplied the only run charged to Arrieta, hitting his major league-leading 34th homer in the seventh. The 34 home runs are a career-high for Cruz.
“It’s not about me,” Cruz said. “It’s about the team. We lost, so whatever I did doesn’t matter.”
Baltimore’s Kevin Gausman (7-5) allowed six hits and struck out seven in five innings of work, but his outing was spoiled by two home runs.
Luis Valbuena opened the Cubs scoring with a homer in the fourth inning, and touted Cubs prospect Javier Baez hit a towering 420 foot solo shot in the fifth to put Chicago ahead 3-0. Logan Watkins and Arismendy Alcantara each drove in runs with singles.
Baez’s homer did not sit well with the young Orioles starter.
“That was probably as easy of a pitch to hit as I threw today,” Gausman said of the Baez homer, before adding, “It’s one of those things where you learn from it, try to take what you can and move past it.
The two home runs are the most Gausman has allowed since May 28 of last season.
Hector Rondon pitched a perfect ninth for his 20th save.
Arrieta retired the first 13 Baltimore hitters before Chris Davis lined a solid single to center with one out in the fifth, one of only three innings when the Orioles managed baserunners.
Davis was thrown out at the plate in the fifth on strong throw from Cubs outfielder Ryan Sweeney when he tried to score on Caleb Joseph’s sharp single, the Orioles’ second hit.
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