Chicago Cubs extend winning streak to six behind Arrieta’s strong start

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Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta kept his squad on the right track after working seven scoreless innings in the 5-0 shutout win over the second-place Pittsburgh Pirates yesterday evening at PNC Park. They currently sit behind the Pirates with the second spot in the N.L. Wild Card spot but only trail them by three games in the N.L. Central.

There’s no doubt Arrieta is still the ace of this staff. He picked up his 12th victory of the season which just so happens to be a career high for the veteran right-hander.

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Shortstop Starlin Castro recorded two RBI doubles in yesterday’s contest while David Ross and Jorge Soler helped out with RBI of their own. This winning streak of six games has a solid chance of growing into seven when recently acquired Dan Haren makes his Chicago Cubs debut opposite Jeff Locke.

With Monday’s game being postponed due to a severe thunderstorm that rolled into ‘Gotham City’, these two teams will more than likely play a doubleheader the next time they meet up in Pittsburgh anytime between Sept. 15-17.

The Cubs will find themselves in a divisional showdown that week with three games against the Bucs on the road before they begin a nine-game home stand with the Cardinals, Brewers, and lastly, the Bucs for the final time this season.

Hopefully, Chicago will have the opportunity to either close the gap on the Cardinals in the N.L. Central or clinch one of the Wild Card spots. You’d have to think Arrieta would be on the mound in that one-game playoff to see who moves on.

So far, Joe Maddon‘s boys have been playing solid ball, but need to step it up just a tad. With the back-end of the rotation picking up both today and Thursday, Jon Lester and Arrieta will be back at it this weekend when the San Francisco Giants roll into town.

Lester is expected to pick up Friday’s start while Arrieta could get either Saturday or Sunday the latest.

Here’s more from around the league:

Chicago Cubs: The great Javier Baez, Starlin Castro debate‘ – Cubbies Crib

2015 San Francisco Giants player hashtags‘ – Around The Foghorn

San Francisco Giants come through; overtake, clobber the Braves‘ – Around The Foghorn

Mariners Game Recap: M’s top Rockies 10-4‘ – SoDo MoJo

Mets DFA Alex Torres, trade for A’s LHP Eric O’Flaherty‘ – Rising Apple

Next: Cubs beat Pirates behind Arrieta's strong outing

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