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Arrieta, Rizzo lead Cubs over Cards in doubleheader opener

CHICAGO -- Jake Arrieta figured he had a chance to make the NL All-Star team, the way he is pitching. He also realized the competition for a spot was stiff.

"It's a tough crop to hang with," Arrieta said.

He keeps showing he can hang with the best, though.

Arrieta did it again Tuesday, pitching into the seventh inning and getting a career-high two hits, and Anthony Rizzo launched his 16th homer to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 7-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in the first game of a day-night doubleheader.

Rizzo's two-run drive highlighted a four-run eighth after St. Louis pulled within one.

Arrieta (9-5) was not picked for the All-Star team and is not a candidate for the final vote. He is, however, sailing along with a 3-0 record and 1.17 ERA in his past four starts. And he came through in a big way on the mound and at the plate as the Cubs won for the sixth time in eight games.

The right-hander gave up two runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings and improved to 3-0 in his past four starts. Arrieta contributed a pair of singles and scored a run after starting the season 1 for 33.

Chris Denorfia had two hits and drove in three runs as Chicago beat St. Louis for the third time in 11 games. He gave the Cubs 2-0 lead with a two-run single in the third off Tyler Lyons (2-1).

Chicago added a run in the sixth when Arrieta led off with a single and scored on Marcus Hatley's bases-loaded walk to Jorge Soler.

The Cardinals cut it to 3-2 while chasing Arrieta in the seventh. Peter Bourjos hit an RBI double with two outs and scored on a single by Xavier Scruggs.

Tony Cruz then chased Arrieta with a single in front of a diving Denorfia in left before James Russell struck out pinch-hitter Matt Carpenter to end the rally.

But once the Cardinals got back in the game, it didn't take long for the Cubs to break it open. By then, Lyons was gone.

"I gave us a chance and obviously, there were things I would have liked to have happened a little differently, but at the end of the day, you've got to do what you've got to do," he said.

Lyons lasted 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs and seven hits. He also walked five, but the Cardinals stayed in it until the bullpen got pounded in the eighth.

"We were probably going to ride (Lyons) pretty heavy anyway and he did get out of some trouble," manager Mike Matheny said.

Dexter Fowler drove an RBI double off the center-field wall before Rizzo connected against Randy Choate. Denorfia added an RBI single against Miguel Socolovich that made it 7-2.

St. Louis' Mark Reynolds hit a two-run homer off Neil Ramirez in the ninth.

"I do feel like we can play with anybody," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "I really do. We have to prove it. We can talk about it. Talk is cheap."

BROKEN STREAKS

Cubs starters went 23 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run before St. Louis scored in the seventh. ... Reynolds broke an 0-for-14 slide with his homer.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Cardinals: 2B Kolten Wong was woozy after hitting his head when he sprawled out to catch a pop fly by Miguel Montero in shallow right in the fifth inning. He was eventually replaced in the seventh.

Cubs: Maddon said he got a good report on RHP Rafael Soriano, who struck out three in an inning of relief Monday for Double-A Tennessee -- his first appearance for the organization. Soriano, who has 207 career saves, signed last month and had to wait for his immigration paperwork to go through before coming to the United States from the Dominican Republic.

UP NEXT

LHP Tim Cooney (0-0, 5.40 ERA) makes his third start for the Cardinals in the nightcap while Dallas Beeler makes his first appearance of the season for the Cubs after being called up from Triple-A Iowa as the 26th man.