MINNEAPOLIS - It looks like it's time to start feeling bad for teams that have to face both Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta in the same series.
Arrieta followed up Lester's stellar start Saturday with one of his own Sunday afternoon, tossing a complete game shutout as the Cubs cruised to an 8-0 victory over the Twins in front of 40,273 fans at Target Field.
Arrieta struck out seven and allowed just four hits. This came after Lester surrendered one run in 6.1 innings Saturday.
A lone run in 15.1 innings from the starters is a heck of a way to close out a series against a Twins team that's been playing good baseball lately.
"After you lose the first game here, you go: 'Who's pitching tomorrow for us? Oh, good.' And then 'Who's pitching for us the next game? Oh, good,'" Maddon said of the Cubs trotting out Lester and Arrieta back-to-back. "So you think that way and you're feeling in a pretty good position to come back and win the series - which we did - and both guys set the tone."
The day after Maddon pulled Lester with one out and nobody on in the seventh inning, Arrieta was allowed to finish the game despite throwing 110 pitches through the first eight innings.
"He was on a short leash at the end right there," Maddon said. "I thought his stuff was holding and actually getting better. And I did not want to prevent him from doing that, for a couple reasons - 1) He's one of the most well-conditioned guys on the team and 2) When you do something like that, I think it can lead in a positive way into your next performance.
"Now, if he was in a lot of high-stress moments, it would have been a different story. But he was not. I thought all the indicators, factors and needls were pointing in the right direction to let him finish."
Dexter Fowler provided the big blast for the Cubs on offense with a grand slam to cap off a six-run eighth inning.
Kyle Schwarber - playing in his last game before heading back down to the minors - drove home two runs on a bases-loaded single at the beginning of the eighth.
"We're tough to beat when we play good defense and we pitch," Arrieta said. "Obviously our lineup is going to score runs. That was a fun game."
Starlin Castro - who had three hits on the afternoon - knocked in Anthony Rizzo for the Cubs' first run in the third inning and Rizzo added a solo blast in the fifth.
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The Cubs collected 12 hits and five walks as a team, abusing the Minnesota bullpen to the tune of six runs on six hits and a pair of free passes in four innings.
But the day belonged to Arrieta.
"He stole the show today," Rizzo said. "Fun to play behind him when he's got all his stuff going. Kinda grinded through the first [inning] a little bit, but then he just settled in and [then] it's just time to sit back and enjoy the show."