The right-hander flirted with a no-hitter against the Reds for the second time this season Tuesday night, taking his bid into the eighth inning during a 7-0 shutout for the Chicago Cubs.
Arrieta (9-5), who also carried a perfect game into the seventh against Cincinnati on June 24, struck out a career-high 13 and walked one in his first major league complete game. Brandon Phillips had a one-out double in the eighth for the only Reds hit.
"(Arrieta) was very sharp, was able to hit that low zone," Cincinnati manager Bryan Price said.
Arrieta was five outs from the first no-hitter at Wrigley Field in 42 years when Phillips drove an 0-2 pitch to deep left-center, just beyond the desperate dive of center fielder Matt Szczur on the warning track.
"Frustrated is not really the right word," Arrieta said. "I was able to take a deep breath and let it out and say, 'All right, well, it's over now. Let's try to get a few more outs.'"
Billy Hamilton, who ended Arrieta's shot at a perfect game in June with a seventh-inning single, drew a leadoff walk in the fourth this time, but was caught stealing on the next pitch.
Chicago gave Arrieta plenty of run support against Reds ace Johnny Cueto (18-9). Chris Coghlan capped a five-run sixth inning with a three-run double, and Jorge Soler homered in the seventh off Sam LeCure.
Cueto was hurt by control issues, especially during the sixth when he walked three of four batters after allowing a single and a double to start the inning. He gave up six runs and five hits in 5 2-3 with eight strikeouts and five walks.
"I was not getting the location the way I want," said Cueto, whose ERA rose from 2.15 to 2.33.
Price acknowledged that typically he would have pulled Cueto as he struggled through the sixth, but he thought the right-hander had earned the opportunity to try to work through it.
"(Cueto) got into the mode of where he didn't want the ball put in play, because he was trying to leave it at 1-0, because Arrieta was so good," Price said. "That's really what came back to bite him."
Arrieta, who also held Boston hitless for 7 2-3 innings on June 30, said his previous flirtations with no-hitters helped.
"I was able to slow the game down a little bit more in this type of situation," he said.
Soler hit a solo shot, his fifth homer of the season. Through 14 major league games, he has 15 RBIs.
Reds: 1B Joey Votto took batting practice for the first time in nearly two months as he tries to work his way back from a left quadriceps injury. Votto, who hasn't played since July 5, also took grounders for the second straight day.
Cubs: OF Arismendy Alcantara injured his right hand making a game-saving catch against the outfield wall Monday. Alcantara, who had a wrap on his right hand and wrist, was held out of the starting lineup. "Right now, it's just soreness," manager Rick Renteria said.
ONE RING CIRCUS
The fan who caught Soler's home run ball in the seventh had his celebration cut short when his wedding band flew off his finger and onto the warning track as he was giving high-fives to others in the left-field bleachers. A Cubs security ambassador confirmed that a groundskeeper soon found and returned the ring.