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Ross catches a career first with Arrieta’s no-hitter

David Ross hits his first home run of the season, 97th of his career, Thursday night.

CINCINNATI – If anybody appreciated Jake Arrieta’s no-hitter Thursday as much as the Cubs ace himself, it might have been his catcher, David Ross.

Ross, the 15-year veteran who has said this will be his last season, caught a no-hitter for the first time in his career.

“It’s been one of my dreams, and that stud made it come true,” Ross, 38, said. “I’m on cloud nine. I’m on the moon.”

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Until then he was very much grounded in the game and a key not only to getting Arrieta through shaky early innings but also by making a huge defensive play in the fourth inning.

He picked off Eugenio Suarez with Joey Votto at the plate after Suarez had led off with a walk. First baseman Anthony Rizzo – no longer at the bag holding the runner – then made a diving stop of a sharp Votto grounder toward the hole on the next play, turning it into an out.

“If Ross doesn’t pick that guy off first, that ball is through the hole,” Rizzo said.

Ross also hit a home run, the 97th of his career.

“As a catcher and a guy who prides himself on calling a game and all that stuff, it’s one of those things I really, really wanted to be a part of,” Ross said. “I feel like I didn’t do a whole lot. That animal was in control the whole time and knew exactly what he wanted to do, and he locked it in when he needed to, and that was fun to be part of.”

When Arrieta threw his no-hitter last August in Los Angeles, Miguel Montero was the catcher.

“For me, that’s why this is so special,” Arrieta said, “with him in his last year, he’s never caught one. Not only for myself but for him in his last season, being able to have him with that experience now is pretty awesome.”

Rizzo and third baseman Kris Bryant started a “Grandpa Rossy” instagram account during spring training to document Ross’s final year, and Rizzo plans a new post from Thursday night.

“And he needs three more homers for 100,” Rizzo said. “Good day for him. Good start for him. Let’s just keep checking off things for him that he’s never done before as we go along this year.”