CHICAGO (AP) — Jake Arrieta continued his dominant second half with six innings of two-hit ball, Ben Zobrist homered and the Chicago Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-1 on Tuesday night.
Anthony Rizzo went 3 for 4 with an RBI, Alex Avila had an RBI single and Jason Heyward added a sacrifice fly for NL Central-leading Chicago.
Arrieta (14-8) struck out four and retired the last seven batters he faced, leaving after 97 pitches with a 3-0 lead. He hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any of his nine starts since the All-Star break, going 6-1 with a 1.59 ERA during that span.
Before Tuesday, Arrieta had been 0-4 with a 7.29 ERA in his last six starts against the Pirates.
John Jaso went 2 for 2 with a homer and reached in all four plate appearances for Pittsburgh.
Wade Davis got the final three outs for his 27th save in 27 chances to establish a new Cubs record for consecutive saves opportunities converted. Ryan Dempster saved 26 in a row from 2005-06.
Chad Kuhl (6-10) matched Arrieta through five innings but ran into trouble immediately in the sixth. His first pitch was a 95-mph fastball down the middle that Zobrist hit into the bleachers in right center.
Kyle Schwarber followed with a walk and Rizzo doubled one out later. After Tommy LaStella was intentionally walked to load the bases, Avila singled to score Schwarber.
Heyward stretched the lead to 3-0 with a sacrifice fly against reliever A.J. Schugel.
Jaso’s solo homer in the seventh off Koji Uehara made it 3-1.
Rizzo gave the Cubs an insurance run in the eighth with his 200th career double.