Arrieta sharp again, Happ homers twice as Cubs beat Reds 6-2

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 02: Ian Happ #8 of the Chicago Cubs hits a solo home run in the fourth inning of a game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on July 2, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

CINCINNATI — Jake Arrieta pitched one-hit ball for seven innings without allowing a stolen base on Sunday, and Ian Happ homered twice in the ballpark where he played as a college star, leading the Chicago Cubs to a 6-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

The Cubs (41-41) salvaged the final game of their series.

Injuries to the starting lineup and inconsistencies in the rotation have left the defending World Series champions treading water. Arrieta (8-6) was coming off a subpar performance that created friction and a surprise move.

The Nationals stole seven bases off Arrieta during their 6-1 win on Tuesday, and catcher Miguel Montero complained afterward about the pitcher’s move to the plate with runners on base. Montero was cut loose the following day.

Back in the ballpark where he threw a no-hitter last season, Arrieta was back in form, allowing only Joey Votto’s first-inning single and a pair of walks — the Reds were never in position to try to steal. Votto singled home a pair of runs in the eighth off Koji Uehara.

Happ grew up in the Pittsburgh area and played at the University of Cincinnati, including one game at Great American Ball Park. The first-round pick from 2015 hit a two-run homer and a solo shot off Tim Adleman (5-5). The rookie added an RBI single, the third time he’s driven in four runs in a game.

Anthony Rizzo also had a solo homer, and Javier Baez doubled home a run as the Cubs prevented a three-game sweep.