MILWAUKEE (AP) — Khris Davis added to his second-half power surge for the Milwaukee Brewers with a long solo shot to right-center off a Chicago Cubs reliever.
Davis' single off starter Jake Arrieta was even more impressive given the way the Cubs' ace was pitching on Friday night.
Arrieta (22-6) gave up just singles to Davis and Scooter Gennett and struck out seven over six innings in a 6-1 win over Milwaukee.
Arrieta's devastating four-pitch arsenal baffled the Brewers.
"Yeah, and they all look like a strike for a very long time," Davis said. "And then they just explode out. His stuff is electric right now."
Arrieta was lifted after 72 pitches, with the Cubs looking ahead to next week's NL wild card game against Pittsburgh. The Pirates held a two-game lead in the race to host the game with two games left in the regular season.
Davis unloaded in the seventh with his deep homer off reliever Trevor Cahill. It was his 27th of the year and 21st since the All-Star break, which is tied for second in the National League.
"Just put a good swing on it, kept my hands inside. Doing what I worked on," Davis said.
Mostly though, the lineup was held in check by Arrieta in his final tuneup before the postseason.
The NL Cy Young Award contender improved to 11-0 since Aug. 1, and his season ERA dropped to 1.77.
"Tremendous. Watching him you could see the explosive stuff," manager Joe Maddon said. "If that did not clinch his award, I don't know what would."
Miller Park turned into a northern outpost for Cubs fans with all the cheers for Arrieta after another dominating outing.
Arrieta seems like he's already locked in on Pittsburgh.
"I don't have time for that yet," he said when asked to recount his year. "Enjoy the win tonight and start getting ready for Pittsburgh on Wednesday."
ERROR IN THE OUTFIELD
Chicago added two runs in the fifth after Milwaukee center fielder Logan Schafer bumped into right fielder Domingo Santana while going for a routine fly ball. The ball bounced off a glove and fell to the ground, allowing Kris Bryant to reach on an error and load the bases for Anthony Rizzo.
The left-handed slugger roped a two-run single to center for a 4-0 lead.
"I had it as Santana's ball. He was pretty well under it," manager Craig Counsell said.
Brewers starter Ariel Pena (2-1) allowed five hits, two walks and four runs while striking out six in 4 1/3 innings. He gave up a solo homer to Rizzo in the fourth.
The rookie may have impressed enough in his late-season audition in the big leagues to be in the mix for a spot on the pitching staff in 2016.
"I was pleasantly surprised by what he did," Counsell said. "Certainly, we have to be aware of him and he's another option for us."
Cubs: Maddon wasn't going to get Arrieta out of his routine even though the Cubs had already clinched a playoff berth, so having his ace skip his start was not an option. "We have to keep him in some sort of routine right now. He's a routine freak. And we're still vying for home field position," Maddon said.
Brewers: The lineup has been unsettled this season in part because of injuries. The team had used 126 different lineup combinations going into Friday's game, the 160th of the season. C Jonathan Lucroy (toe, concussion) and OF Ryan Braun (lower back) are among key players who have missed time.
Cubs: RHP Kyle Hendricks (7-7) is 1-1 in three starts against the Brewers this season, including a 0.73 ERA in 12 1/3 innings over two starts at Miller Park.
Brewers: It could be a bullpen day on Saturday with RHP Tyler Wagner (0-1) on the hill. He has yet to make it past the fourth inning in either of his two starts.
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