The task of embarking on a stretch of 20 road games during a 26-game span didn't seem to faze Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta.

“We’re at this point, most of us are comfortable living out of a suitcase," Arrieta said before pitching six innings of four-hit ball to lead the Cubs to a 5-1 victory at San Diego.

"The travel isn’t a big deal. You find ways to deal with it. Normally, coming from the West Coast is the toughest thing to do But any time we go east to west, it’s easier to handle that way."

Arrieta was supported by Anthony Rizzo, who ripped a two-run home run in the top of the fourth inning off left-hander Eric Stults after after Junior Lake led off the inning with a bunt single down the third base line.

Rizzo is batting .300 (15-for-50) with four home runs and 12 RBIs against left-handers this season.

"It’s going to be a constant battle with lefties, so you got to take what they give you," Rizzo said. "Hitting here, it felt nice especially with the park and how big it’s been.’’

Rizzo, who played for the Padres in 2011, doesn't seem to miss the spacious dimensions of Petco Park.

"I think it’s still pretty big, especially at night time with that thick air," Rizzo said. " ... It's nice not to take batting practice here every day."

Arrieta, who had lasted only four innings in each of his past two starts, regained effectiveness of his curve to strike out seven in a 94-pitch outing. His only blemish was a home run to Seth Smith with two out in the first.

Arrieta's outing was important because Cubs pitchers threw six innings Wedneday, and relievers Hector Rondon, Wesley Wright and Jose Veras all had high pitch counts.

"He saved our pen," manager Rick Renteria said of Arrieta.

Arrieta hadn't pitched since May 13, but used the extra time to polish his mechanics.

"The command of all my pitches showed, and I even used my change-up more than I normally would because I had such good command of it and was able to throw it in any count," he said. "That was big for me, especially with those lefties who like to sit on the heater and stay on the heater throughout the at-bat for me.

"Whenever I’m in a situation with the lead, I want to keep the pitch count down and continue to eat up innings so those (relievers) don’t get used up, especially coming off a game like we had (13-inning loss against the Yankees).’’

In the fifth, Darwin Barney hit an RBI single to improve his mark to .500 (6-for-12) against Stults, and Emilio Bonifacio hit a single to score Barney. Lake capped the rally with an RBI double.

Carlos Villanueva pitched the final three innings to earn the save and preserve the victory for Arrieta (1-0) as the Cubs improved to 7-15 on the road.

Villanueva's save was his first since 2010 with the Milwaukee Brewers, and it was the first three-inning save since Sean Gallagher preserved a win over the San Francisco Giants on July 18, 2007.

"It’s good that we won, but we needed somebody to give us a couple innings," Villanueva said. "The boys have been going hard the past couple games with the extra inning game, and I was fresh. I guess it worked out perfectly with good weather and a good environment to pitch.