BOSTON — Jake Arrieta carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Boston Red Sox 2-0 in the opener of a three-game series.
Right fielder Nate Schierholtz hit a two-run homer for the Cubs, who won for the fourth time in 10 games.
Arrieta allowed just one baserunner, on a fifth-inning walk, and struck out 10 before shortstop Stephen Drew singled with two outs in the eighth to break up the gem.
It was the second time in as many starts that Arrieta (5-1) flirted with history. He took a perfect game into the seventh inning against the Cincinnati Reds on June 24.
He was looking to become the fourth pitcher this season and second in six days to toss a no-hitter. San Francisco’s Tim Lincecum held the San Diego Padres hitless Wednesday, joining the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Josh Beckett and Clayton Kershaw.
The Red Sox haven’t been no-hit since current Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio accomplished the feat against them on April 22, 1993.
Drew ensured it wouldn’t happen again.
After getting first baseman Mike Napoli looking at a fastball to start the eighth and inducing third baseman Xander Bogaerts to fly out to center, Arrieta ran the count to 2-2 against Drew. The veteran shortstop lined a fastball into right field that ended Arrieta’s bid and his night.
The 28-year-old twice tipped his cap during a standing ovation from the Fenway faithful as he walked toward the dugout.
Reliever Pedro Strop came on and got center fielder Mookie Betts to fly out on the first pitch, and Hector Rondon allowed one hit in the ninth for his 10th save of the year.
Arrieta started the season on the disabled list due to right shoulder tightness and didn’t make his first start of the year until May 3. He hadn’t thrown more than 105 pitches in any of his 10 starts this season before he fired 120 on Monday.
Arrieta breezed through Boston’s lineup early, retiring the first 13 batters he faced before walking Napoli in the fifth. He got Bogaerts to line out to left and struck out Drew to keep the no-no intact.
After requiring just 10 pitches to retire the side in the sixth, Arrieta needed only 13 to cruise through the seventh, striking out left fielder Daniel Nava and second baseman Dustin Pedroia before designated hitter David Ortiz grounded weakly into the shift.
Boston right-hander Jake Peavy (1-7) allowed two runs on five hits over six innings, striking out seven and walking two while dropping his seventh straight decision. The right-hander hasn’t won since April 25, a span of 12 starts.
After yielding two hits in the first and a double to Schierholtz in the second, Peavy settled down and retired seven straight before walking catcher Welington Castillo with two outs in the fourth. Schierholtz drove the next pitch into Boston’s bullpen for his fourth homer of the year and a 2-0 Chicago lead.NOTES: This is just the second-ever regular-season series at Fenway Park, and fourth regular-season series overall, between the Red Sox and Cubs. The teams also met in Boston for three games May 20-22, 2011. ... Boston CF Mookie Betts played his first game at Fenway Park after making his major league debut Sunday against the New York Yankees. ...
Boston, which began a 10-game, 11-day homestand, entered a game at Fenway with a winning record at home (20-19) for the first time all season.