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Arrieta's home scoreless streak ends at 52 2/3

MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

CHICAGO -- For the first time in what seems like forever, Jake Arrieta didn't look sharp, yet he still got a win and became the first Cubs pitcher to open a season 5-0 since Hall of Famer Greg Maddux in 2006.

"All I can say is he's human," Cubs catcher David Ross said.

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CHICAGO -- For the first time in what seems like forever, Jake Arrieta didn't look sharp, yet he still got a win and became the first Cubs pitcher to open a season 5-0 since Hall of Famer Greg Maddux in 2006.

"All I can say is he's human," Cubs catcher David Ross said.

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Tweet from @ithrow88: @JArrieta34 saw you gave up a run, hang in there. Thinking of you.

Arrieta's record scoreless streak at home ended in the fifth inning of the Cubs' 7-2 win over the Brewers. Alex Presley smacked an RBI double with two outs to drive in Jonathan Villar and end the Cubs pitcher's streak at 52 2/3 scoreless innings. It's the longest stretch in Wrigley Field history and the second longest in Major League history. Only the White Sox Ray Herbert had a longer streak at 54 scoreless innings at Comiskey Park, spanning 1962-63.

"It had to end at some point, but we'll try to start another one," Arrieta said.

Arrieta was coming off his second career no-hitter, and Villar led off the game with a single to end any bid for consecutive no-no's, something only Johnny Vander Meer has done in Major League history.

Video: MIL@CHC: Arrieta fans six over five strong innings

The Brewers made Arrieta work in the first, loading the bases on Villar's single and two walks. Ross then went out for a chat. The problem was that Arrieta's two-seam fastball was hard to control, so Ross asked him to throw a cutter to try to get Arrieta's hand on top of the ball. It worked, and the right-hander struck out both Chris Carter and Kirk Nieuwenhuis.

Arrieta's streak of consecutive quality starts ended at 24 when manager Joe Maddon pulled him after five innings. The Cubs led, 6-1, at that point and the bullpen was fresh. Plus, Maddon is looking ahead.

"I saw 92 pitches, I saw Jake Arrieta, I saw the Cubs trying to win a World Series, I saw the next five years of his career," Maddon said. "I know his kids really well. All that stuff mattered more than breaking [Bob] Gibson's record."

Gibson holds the Major League mark of 26 quality starts set during the 1967-68 seasons. Arrieta understood Maddon's thinking.

"In this position last year, I might have been a little more frustrated with that decision," Arrieta said. "I think it was 92 pitches after five, and I really had to work through that outing. You take everything into consideration and the extra off-days and the rainout [Wednesday], cold weather, extended pitch counts, long first inning -- it is the right way to go. Our most important ballgames are still ahead of us. From this point moving forward, we're still lined up well."

It's tough to say Arrieta had a bad outing. He gave up one run, kept the Cubs in the game. Expectations are high for the right-hander.

"You can't expect a guy to be perfect every time," Maddon said.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

Chicago Cubs