CHICAGO — Jake Arrieta pitched two-hit ball over six innings, Matt Szczur homered, Albert Almora Jr. had three hits and the Chicago Cubs beat the struggling Pittsburgh Pirates 6-0 on Friday.
Arrieta (11-1) struck out 11 and walked three as the Cubs started the weekend series on a strong note after dropping two of three at Washington.
Szczur hit a two-run homer in the first inning on Francisco Liriano's second pitch of the game.
Almora had an RBI double during a three-run sixth that broke it open and drove in another with a single in the seventh. He raised his average to .429 in nine games since he was called up from the minors last week.
The Pirates fell below .500 at 33-34 with their eighth loss in nine games. They were shut out for the first time in a regular-season game since they lost to St. Louis on Sept. 28.
Liriano (4-7) dropped his fourth straight start.