ake Arrieta yielded two hits over seven dominant innings, Miguel Montero homered and drove in three runs, and the Chicago Cubs opened a season of high expectations with a 9-0 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night.
Anthony Rizzo and Jorge Soler drove in early runs and Villanova product Matt Szczur added a three-run double in the ninth for the Cubs, whose talent-laden roster is coming off a 97-win season and a trip to the NL Championship Series.
Chicago's anguished fans believe the team really might end its 108-year championship drought this season, and thousands chanted and cheered in Orange County to herald an auspicious start to the quest.
Garrett Richards (0-1) gave up three runs in five innings of six-hit ball in his first opening day start for Los Angeles.
The Angels managed just three hits while getting shut out on opening day for the first time since 2002 — the year of their only World Series championship. The Angels had never lost an opener by more than seven runs.
Arrieta (1-0) returned from his 22-victory Cy Young Award season with another gem. In his first opening day start since 2012, the right-hander gave up two singles and a walk, never allowing the overmatched Angels to reach second base.
Montero punctuated his first opening day start as the Cubs' catcher with a two-run shot to right in the sixth off reliever Fernando Salas.
Dexter Fowler had three hits and a walk for Chicago. Jason Heyward went 1 for 5 with a double, and Ben Zobrist had two singles in the veteran newcomers' Cubs debuts.
Mike Trout went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts in his fourth opening day start for the Angels. Albert Pujols was 0 for 3 on his first opening day as a designated hitter in the three-time NL MVP's 16 big league seasons.
Fowler doubled on Richards' second pitch and scored on Rizzo's two-out single to center.
Chicago added two more runs in the fourth on back-to-back singles by Soler and Montero while forcing Richards to throw 41 pitches in the inning.
Kole Calhoun's second-inning single was the Angels' only hit until Daniel Nava's seventh-inning single in his Los Angeles debut.
Andrelton Simmons went 0 for 3 in his Angels debut, although the gifted shortstop made a slick fielding play to limit the Cubs to one run in the seventh. Yunel Escobar went 0 for 4 and made an error in his debut at third.