(The Sports Xchange) - Jake Arrieta pitched seven innings of a four-hitter while Anthony Rizzo tied a career high with four hits as the Chicago Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-0 for their sixth successive win.
Arrieta (12-6) allowed just two singles, by center fielder Andrew McCutchen in the fourth inning and left fielder Starling Marte in the seventh, while striking out five and walking three.
Relievers Tommy Hunter and Justin Grimm completed the shutout as the Cubs (58-47) matched their longest winning streak of the season.
Rizzo doubled and scored in both the third and fifth innings as the first baseman led the Cubs’ 14-hit attack with the fourth four-hit game of his career.
Left fielder Chris Denorfia had three hits while shortstop Starlin Castro doubled in Rizzo twice and right fielder Jorge Soler drove in the first and last runs with a bases-loaded walk in the first inning off J.A. Happ and a single in the sixth.
Chicago drew within three games of the National League wild card-leading Pirates (61-44), who remained 5-1/2 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central.
Happ, acquired from Seattle last Friday in a trade, had a rocky Pirates’ debut, giving up four runs and eight hits in 4-1/3 innings with two walks and six strikeouts.
Happ ran into trouble early and walked Cubs right fielder Jorge Soler with the bases loaded and one out in the first inning to force in the game’s first run.
The Cubs made it 3-0 in the third when first baseman Anthony Rizzo hit a double and scored on Castro’s double before catcher David Ross capped the inning with an RBI single.
Rizzo doubled again with one out in the fifth inning then scored when Castro greeted reliever Jared Hughes with his second double.
Compiled by Greg Stutchbury