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Rapid Reaction: Cubs 3, Cardinals 0

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs beat the Cardinals 3-0 on Saturday to take their second straight game of the series. Here's a quick look:

How it happened: The starting pitchers dominated early, as Michael Wacha and Jake Arrieta did enough to keep the offenses silent. Each team had its opportunities to get on the board early, but it remained scoreless until Junior Lake smashed a long home run in the bottom of the sixth to put the Cubs up 2-0. Arrieta, who was activated off the DL prior to the game, tossed 5 1/3 shutout innings, giving up four hits while striking out seven and walking just two, delivering a strong performance in his first start of the season. The bullpen did the rest, and Hector Rondon closed his second straight game for his third save of the season in the Cubs' 3-0 victory.

What it means: After crawling out of the NL Central cellar with their victory on Friday afternoon, the Cubs won their third straight and guaranteed a series victory over the Cardinals, both of which were firsts on the season.

Outside the box: Arrieta's strong outing bodes well for the Cubs, who got little out of the back of their rotation in the season's first month. Arrieta bumps Carlos Villanueva out of the rotation and into the bullpen, where he provides a much needed veteran swing man.

Up next: The Cubs go for the sweep Sunday night with Jason Hammel taking the mound against Lance Lynn and the St Louis Cardinals.