Chicago Cubs beat the Pirates behind Jake Arrieta’s strong outing

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Final. 0. 4. 5. 9

Cubs blank the Pirates behind Arrieta’s seven strong innings; Starlin Castro drives in two


The Chicago Cubs opened the second half with a favorable schedule against teams under .500. Aside the hiccup of being swept by the Phillies (who are red-hot by the way), the Cubs secured their sixth win in a row as they defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-0 behind a solid night from Jake Arrieta (12-6, 2.50).

If there were any questions about last year being a fluke with Arrieta, his put those notions to rest. He allowed just two hits over seven innings, striking out five while walking two.  The Cubs (58-47) also got a strong performance from Starlin Castro at the plate and in the field as he went 2-for-5 with two RBIs.

The Pirates’ (61-44) starter J.A. Happ (4-7, 4.78) started rough out of the gate, allowing the Cubs to score on a bases-loaded walk to Jorge Soler. They threatened again in the next inning as Chris Denorfia singled to left, but the relay throw from Jung Ho Kang was on target to Francisco Cervelli as they nailed Addison Russell at the plate.

The Cubs would add two more in the third as Anthony Rizzo remained on fire with a double into center field as he went 4-for-5 on the night. Castro later followed with his double, scoring on a David Ross single to put the Cubs up 4-0. Soler added one more in the sixth with an RBI single to score Kris Bryant.

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The Pirates had very few answers for Cubs’ pitching, as they mustered just four hits in the game. Their biggest threat came in the seventh as Starling Marte singled to open the inning, followed by an Andrew McCutchen walk. But Arrieta survived unscathed after Aramis Ramirez lined out to left, Kang struck out and Neil Walked rolled out weakly to Rizzo.

The Cubs will send one of their newest members to the bump tomorrow as Dan Haren (7-7, 3.42) makes his Cubs debut against the Buccos Jeff Locke (6-6, 4.21) in the finale of the rain-shortened series.

Next: The Castro/Baez debate

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