Cubs' Arrieta wins 11th to tie for most in majors

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[June 18, 2016]  CHICAGO -- Jake Arrieta allowed just two hits over six innings to earn his National League-leading 11th victory as the Chicago Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-0 on Friday.

Arrieta (11-1) matched Chicago White Sox left-hander Chris Sale with most major-league wins as he walked three and struck out 11.

Matt Szczur clubbed a two-run homer in the first inning while rookie Albert Almora Jr. went 3-for-4 with a walk and two RBI.

Pirates left-hander Francisco Liriano (4-7) suffered his fourth straight loss and sixth in seven starts.

The Cubs scored twice with none out in the first as Dexter Fowler reached on an infield single and Szczur sent Liriano's first pitch to the left-field bleachers for his third home run of the season.

After that, there were numerous threats but no more scoring until the sixth inning.

The Pirates had runners on first and third with none out in the third, but Arrieta escaped by striking out the next three batters.

Chicago had bases loaded in the fourth inning following Javier Baez's leadoff double and two-out walks to Arrieta and Fowler. But Szczur grounded to short to end the inning.

The Cubs loaded the bases again with two out in the fifth but again came up empty as Miguel Montero lined to right for a third out.

The Pirates, in turn, had the bases loaded with one out in the sixth with three walks as Arrieta topped 100 pitches. But he struck out David Freese swinging on a full count and caught Matt Joyce looking on a 3-2 count.

Arrieta was pulled for pinch hitter Chris Coghlan in the bottom of the sixth as the Cubs added three more runs.

Coghlan hustled for a two-base hit, reached third on a wild pitch and scored on Ben Zobrist's single to shallow center with two out.

That marked the end for Liriano, who allowed four runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings. He walked five and struck out six.

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Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta (49) delivers against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Reliever Cory Luebke walked Rizzo and gave up a run-scoring double to Albert Almora Jr. to drive in Zobrist. Luebke went on to load the bases and walked Addison Russell to bring home Rizzo for a 5-0 lead.

The Cubs added a single run in the seventh as Almora's RBI single scored Fowler.

NOTES: The Pirates didn't reach their Chicago hotel until around 2 a.m. CT Friday but manager Clint Hurdle maintained his players had plenty of rest for their 1:20 p.m. game. "We got appropriate sleep, we're ready to go," he said. ... Hurdle needs two victories reach 1,000 all-time as a manager. ... The Pirates briefly returned to playing Central Division play with this weekend series against the Cubs. Since May 15, Pittsburgh has played 27 of 30 games outside the division and then has 13 straight through July 3. ... The Cubs called up rookie C Willson Contreras from Triple-A Iowa and designated C Tim Federowicz for assignment. Contreras was batting .350 with nine home runs and 43 RBIs in 54 games at Iowa. ... Two left-handers earn Saturday starts as the Pirates' Jonathon Niese (6-3, 4.60 ERA) faces the Cubs' Jon Lester (8-3, 1.89 ERA), the reigning NL pitcher of the week.

[ 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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