Arrieta wins 21st, Cubs avoid sweep
CHICAGO (AP) — Jake Arrieta pitched seven dominant innings and also homered in his major league-best 21st win, and the Chicago Cubs stopped Pittsburgh’s eight-game win streak with a 4-0 victory over the Pirates on Sunday night.
Arrieta (21-6) retired his first 18 batters before Gregory Polanco grounded a leadoff single into left field in the seventh. The right-hander homered in the second and struck out nine while improving to 15-1 with a dazzling 0.89 ERA in his last 19 starts.
Pittsburgh (95-61) and Chicago (90-65) each have clinched playoff spots and lead the NL wild-card standings, so the Pirates could see Arrieta again in the first game of the postseason on Oct. 7.
The Pirates could still catch St. Louis for the NL Central title. They trail the Cardinals by three games and open a three-game series at home against St. Louis Monday.
A.J. Burnett (9-6) pitched six effective innings.